NASA, ESA, and J. Holtzman (New Mexico State University)
  • The Hubble Space Telescope turned 30 this year. On Dec. 11, 2020, NASA released dozens of newly processed Hubble images such as this. Caldwell 51, also known as IC 1613, is an irregular dwarf galaxy located in the constellation Cetus.
    NASA, ESA, and J. Holtzman (New Mexico State University)
  • The Hubble Space Telescope turned 30 this year. On Dec. 11, 2020, NASA released dozens of newly processed Hubble images such as this. Caldwell 29, also known as NGC 5005, is a spiral galaxy that likely harbors a supermassive black hole at its heart.
    NASA, ESA, and L. Ho (Peking University)
  • The Hubble Space Telescope turned 30 this year. On Dec. 11, 2020, NASA released dozens of newly processed Hubble images such as this. Caldwell 73, or NGC 1851, is located roughly 40,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Columba.
    NASA, ESA, and G. Piotto (Universita degli Studi di Padova)
  • The Hubble Space Telescope turned 30 this year. On Dec. 11, 2020, NASA released dozens of newly processed Hubble images such as this. The globular star cluster Caldwell 78, known as NGC 6541, was first observed in 1826. The Italian astronomer Niccolò Cacciatore and the Scottish astronomer James Dunlop discovered the cluster independently within just a few months of each other.
    NASA, ESA, and G. Piotto (Universita degli Studi di Padova)
  • The Hubble Space Telescope turned 30 this year. On Dec. 11, 2020, NASA released dozens of newly processed Hubble images such as this. Hubble captured this image of the hazy reflection nebula Caldwell 68 using its Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. Reflection nebulae are star-forming clouds of gas and dust that glow with the energy emitted from a hot, nearby star.
    NASA, ESA, and K. Stapelfeldt (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
  • NASA's Hubble Space Telescope was launched April 24, 1990, on the space shuttle Discovery from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. For nearly three decades, the telescope has captured planets, stars and galaxies. <br></br> The telescope unveiled in stunning detail a small section of the Veil Nebula - expanding remains of a massive star that exploded about 8,000 years ago.
    NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team
  • The Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) and a companion galaxy, in an image made in 2005. The Whirlpool's two curving arms are star-formation factories, compressing hydrogen gas and creating clusters of new stars.
    NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team STS via AP Photo
  • This colorful Hubble mosaic of a small portion of the Monkey Head Nebula unveils a collection of carved knots of gas and dust silhouetted against glowing gas.
    NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
  • This mosaic image released on Dec. 2, 2005, of the Crab Nebula, one of the largest ever taken by the Hubble, shows the 6-light-year-wide expanding remnant of a star's supernova explosion.
    NASA/Getty Images
  • A view of the Eagle Nebula's "Pillars of Creation." The dust and gas in the pillars is seared by the intense radiation from young stars and eroded by strong winds from massive nearby stars.
    NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team via AP
  • Peering deep into the dusty heart of our Milky Way galaxy using infrared vision, the Hubble reveals a rich tapestry of more than half a million stars. Except for a few blue foreground stars, the stars are part of the Milky Way's nuclear star cluster, the most massive and densest star cluster in our galaxy.
    NASA, ESA, and Hubble Heritage Team
  • A spectacular cosmic pairing of the star Hen 2-427, more commonly known as WR 124, and the nebula M1-67, which surrounds it. Both objects, captured by the telescope, are found in the constellation of Sagittarius and lie 15,000 light-years away.
    ESA/Hubble and NASA
  • A view of Messier 57, the Ring Nebula. The Hubble has made more than 1.3 million observations since its mission began in 1990.
    NASA/ESA/Vanderbilt University via AP Photo
  • An emission-line star known as IRAS 12196-6300 lies at the center of this image. Located just under 2,300 light-years from Earth, this star displays prominent emission lines, meaning that the star's light, dispersed into a spectrum, shows up as a rainbow of colors marked with a characteristic pattern of dark and bright lines.
    ESA/Hubble and NASA
  • The lesser-known constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs), is home to a variety of deep-sky objects including this beautiful galaxy, known as NGC 4861. Astronomers are still debating on how to classify it. While its physical properties, such as mass, size and rotational velocity, indicate it to be a spiral galaxy, its appearance looks more like a comet with its dense, luminous head and dimmer tail trailing behind.
    ESA/Hubble and NASA
  • A breeding ground for stars in the Constellation Carina, about 20,000 light-years from Earth.
    NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team via AP
  • A view of Mars when the planet was 50 million miles from Earth on May 12, 2016.
    ESA/NASA
  • The arrangement of the spiral arms in the galaxy Messier 63, recall the pattern at the center of a sunflower. Galactic arms, sunflowers and whirlpools are only a few examples of nature's apparent preference for spirals.
    ESA/Hubble and NASA
  • Huge waves are sculpted in this two-lobed nebula some 3,000 light-years away in the constellation of Sagittarius. This warm planetary nebula harbors one of the hottest stars known and its powerful stellar winds generate waves 100 billion kilometers high.
    ESA/Garrelt Mellema (Leiden University, the Netherlands)
  • Sparkling at the center of this image is a Wolf Rayet star known as WR 31a, located about 30,000 light-years away in the constellation of Carina (The Keel). The distinctive blue bubble appearing to encircle WR 31a, and its uncatalogued stellar sidekick is a Wolf Rayet nebula, an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen, helium and other gases.
    ESA/Hubble and NASA
  • At first glance, this cosmic kaleidoscope of purple, blue and pink offers a strikingly beautiful and serene snapshot of the cosmos. However, this multicolored haze actually marks the site of two colliding galaxy clusters, forming a single object known as MACS J0416.1-2403 (or MACS J0416 for short). MACS J0416 is located about 4.3 billion light-years from Earth, in the constellation of Eridanus.
    NASA/ESA/CXC/NRAO/AUI/NSF
  • A view of a maelstrom of glowing gas and dark dust within one of the Milky Way's satellite galaxies, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). This stormy scene shows a stellar nursery known as N159, an HII region over 150 light-years across.
    ESA/Hubble and NASA
  • In this cosmic snapshot, the spectacularly symmetrical wings of Hen 2-437 show up in a magnificent icy blue hue. Hen 2-437 is a planetary nebula, one of around 3000 such objects known to reside within the Milky Way.
    ESA/Hubble and NASA
  • The luminous nucleus and spectacular sweeping arms of spiral galaxy NGC 6814 were captured by the telescope.
    ESA/Hubble and NASA
  • Barnard 33, the Horsehead Nebula, in the constellation of Orion (The Hunter). This image shows the region in infrared light, which has longer wavelengths than visible light and can pierce through the dusty material that usually obscures the nebula's inner regions in visible light.
    NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team via AP Photo