This is the most detailed image ever captured of the global star cluster, Messier 9. Global star clusters are thought to contain some of the oldest stars in our galaxy; Messier 9 lies around 25,000 light-years from Earth, close to the centre of the Milky Way.
This Hubble image captures a planetary nebula located in the constellation of Cygnus. Scientists believe the nebula’s shape is caused by a binary star at the centre of the nebula. At the centre of this image is the inner nebula, thought to be about one fifth of a light-year across and from the centre come the ‘wings’, which spread out about one light-year from tip to tip.
This barred spiral galaxy is part of the Dorado Group of galaxies located around 62 million light-years away. This group comprises an estimated 70 galaxies, many other distant galaxies can be seen in this image.
This composite image shows the distribution of dark matter, galaxies, and hot gas in the core of the merging galaxy cluster Abell 520, formed from a violent collision of massive galaxy clusters. Hubble was one of the many telescopes used in this composite image, which has false-coloured maps showing the concentration of starlight, hot gas, and dark matter in the cluster. According to NASA: ‘The blend of blue and green in the centre of the image reveals that a clump of dark matter resides near most of the hot gas, where very few galaxies are found. This finding confirms previous observations of a dark-matter core in the cluster. The result could present a challenge to basic theories of dark matter, which predict that galaxies should be anchored to dark matter, even during the shock of a collision.’
This isolated galaxy is located more than four million light-years from Earth and was only discovered in 1997.
Records show that in 1843 Eta Carinae became one of the brightest stars in the sky, but eventually started to dim and in the 20th century became invisible to the naked eye. The star system has started to brighten again and has been a regular target for Hubble over its 22 years in service.
This Hubble image shows planetary nebula Hen 3-1333; this is the death throes of a star with a mass around 60% of the sun. This visible-light image was taken by the high resolution channel of Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys.
A huge section of the Milky Way galaxy is captured in this mosaic, which features constellations Cassiopeia and Cepheus, named after an ancient Queen and King of Ethiopia in Greek mytholog.
WISE was able to capture the forgotten remains of Puppis A, the red, dusty cloud that’s the remnants of a supernova explosion some 3,700 years ago.
This image of the nebula NGC 2174, which sits on the border of the Gemini and Orion constellations and features a beautiful image of colour and light, is why NASA calls it the Vincent van Gogh of the sky.
In Greek mythology, Orion was a hunter whose ego was so great he angered the goddess Artemis, who banished him to the sky. Here we see the head, the fuzzy red dot in the middle, of Orion, one of the most famous constellations.
Few stretches of the sky are as colourful as the Rho Ophiuchi cloud, found rising above the Milky Way in the night sky.