Best Hubble Images
The Hubble Space Telescope
1. Colliding Galaxies
This is an astonishing image of two galaxies merging at a distance of 45 million light years from Earth. They are known as the Antennae galaxies and began to merge a few hundred millions years ago. When galaxies collide the energy created sparks an outburst of star creation, which you can see in the bright clusters which contain thousands of stars. It is believed all galaxies have a super massive black hole at their centers, these to will eventually merge and the two galaxies will become one larger galaxy.
2. Sombrero Galaxy
This is the galaxy M104 also known as the sombrero galaxy, you can see where it gets its name from. It exists at a distance of 28 million light years from Earth and is one of the most striking galaxies in the known universe. At around 50,000 light years across it’s around half the size of our Milky Way.
3. Eskimo Nebula
This is NGC 2392 otherwise known as the Eskimo Nebula. It was discovered by the British astronomer William Herschel in 1787 and gets its name from its resemblance to an Eskimo wearing a hood, it’s also known as the Clownface Nebula. These colorful objects are known as planetary nebula, they occur when stars similar in size to our sun come to the end of their lifespan. After the star becomes unstable it ejects its mass leaving only the core remaining, which you can see as the small point of light in the center.
4. Hubble Bubble
This bizarre object looks like a bubble floating through space. It’s actually a nebula known as a supernova remnant, it emanated from a supernova explosion which occurred in a nearby galaxy known as the Large Magellanic Cloud. This particular gaseous envelope is 23 light years across.
5. Eta Carinae
This is the binary star system Eta Carinae, which consists of the very large star Eta Carinae and a smaller companion. For parts of the 19th century Eta Carinae was the second brightest star in the night sky. This was due to the star undergoing an event called a supernova imposter, which are similar to supernovas but do not destroy the star. This left the star shrouded in matter which was named the Homunculus Nebula. False supernovas are precursors to actual supernovas and as Eta Carinae has 100 times the mass of the sun it’s gonna be one hell of a bang.
6. NGC 7049
This is a spectacular image of the Galaxy NGC 7049, it’s around 150,000 light years across, making it 50% larger than the milky way, and lies around 100 million light years from Earth. What makes this galaxy stand out are the lanes of dust that are backlit by its bright halo.
7. Cone Nebula
This image shows the peak of the ghostly Cone Nebula. It's surrounded by a bright red halo which is ionized hydrogen gas caused by ultraviolet radiation from nearby stars. The entire cone is 7 light years long and lies 2,700 light years from Earth. This nebula was discovered by our old friend William Herschel back in 1785.
8. NGC 4921
The word galaxy is derived from the Greek word for milk but this galaxy seems to have taken this too far. This is the barred spiral galaxy NGC 4921 which is a whopping 320 million light years from Earth. The Milky Way is also believed to be a barred spiral galaxy but probably no where near as milky as this one. NGC 4921 lies in the Coma Cluster, every other point of light in this image is another galaxy.
9. Horsehead Nebula
This is a close up image of the famous Horsehead Nebula which lies in the star forming Orion Nebula some 1,500 light years from Earth. This iconic image is actually a dark nebula, a cloud of gas and dust that it is so dense it blocks out any background light.
10. NGC 2841
This is a beautiful close up of the spiral galaxy NGC 2841 which lies 46 million light years from Earth. This image of its central region shows its rather patchy tightly wound spiral arms populated with white and blue stars, accompanied by dust lanes and a bright yellow core.