Space Observatories

This image shows a small portion of the Veil Nebula - the shattered remains of a supernova that exploded some 5-10,000 years ago. The intertwined rope-like filaments of gas result from the enormous amounts of energy released as the fast-moving debris from the explosion ploughs into its surroundings and creates shock fronts. These shocks, driven by debris moving at 600,000 kilometres per hour, heat the gas to millions of degrees. It is the subsequent cooling of this material that produces the brilliantly coloured glows.

The image was taken with the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) on board the Hubble Space Telescope. The colour is produced by composite of three different images. The different colours indicate emission from different kinds of atoms excited by the shock: blue shows oxygen, green shows sulphur, and red shows hydrogen.

Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration. Acknowledgment: J. Hester (Arizona State University)
 
 
Uncovering the Veil Nebula
This false-colour composite was obtained by AKARI's Far Infrared Surveyor (FIS) instrument at 90 and 140 micrometres. It shows star-forming regions in the constellation Cygnus, one of the brightest regions in the Milky Way. The image covers 7.6 x 10.0 square degrees. This region is in a direction along the so-called ‘Orion arm', one of the spiral arms of our Galaxy. Many objects at distances of three thousand to ten thousand light years are projected on this small region. The Galactic plane appears from the top-left to bottom-right.

Credits: JAXA
 
 
Cygnus region in infrared light by AKARI
AKARI's Far Infrared Surveyor (FIS) instrument also observed the Milky Way and the Orion region. In this image, two views at visual light (left) and infrared light (right) are juxtaposed, both covering a region of about 30x40 square degrees. AKARI's view is taken at 140 micrometres. For the first time ever, AKARI provided coverage of the Orion region at infrared wavelengths longer than 100 micrometres at such fine resolution.

The right side of the image covers the constellation Orion while the left side shows the Monoceros. The Galactic Plane is located from the top to bottom in the left side of the image. Cold dust in the Galactic Plane appears as diffuse radiation over the entire image.

Credits: Hideo Fukushima, National Astronomical Observatory Japan (left); JAXA (right)
 
 
Orion region in infrared light by AKARI
This image shows the entire sky in infrared light at nine micrometres. The bright stripe extending from left to right is the disc of our own Milky Way Galaxy. Several bright regions corresponding to strong infrared radiation appear along or next to the Galactic Plane. These regions are sites of newly born stars. At the brightest region in the very centre of the image, towards the centre of our Galaxy, old stars crowd together. AKARI observed the infrared radiation emitted from the heated interstellar dust.

The inscriptions indicate constellations and regions of intense star formation. The data used to create this image have a spatial resolution of about nine arcseconds, several times finer than IRAS in 1983. Further detailed analysis of this data will help to learn more about the physical conditions of these star formation regions.

Credits: JAXA
 
 
Detailed all-sky map in infrared light by AKARI
This image shows the entire sky in infrared light at nine micrometres. The bright stripe extending from left to right is the disc of our own Milky Way Galaxy. Several bright regions corresponding to strong infrared radiation appear along or next to the Galactic Plane. These regions are sites of newly born stars. At the brightest region in the very centre of the image, towards the centre of our Galaxy, old stars crowd together. AKARI observed the infrared radiation emitted from the heated interstellar dust.

Credits: JAXA
 
 
Detailed all-sky map in infrared light by AKARI
Hundreds of thousands of vibrant blue and red stars are visible in this new image of galaxy NGC 4449 taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. Hot bluish white clusters of massive stars are scattered throughout the galaxy, interspersed with numerous dustier reddish regions of current star formation. Massive dark clouds of gas and dust are silhouetted against the flaming starlight.

Credit: NASA, ESA, A. Aloisi (STScI/ESA), and The Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration
 
 
Stellar fireworks are ablaze in galaxy NGC 4449
Massive Jupiter is undergoing dramatic atmospheric changes that have never been seen before with Hubble Space Telescope.

Jupiter's turbulent clouds are always changing as they encounter atmospheric disturbances while sweeping around the planet at hundreds of miles per hour. But these Hubble images reveal a rapid transformation in the shape and color of Jupiter's clouds near the equator, marking an entire face of the globe.

Credit: Credit: NASA, ESA, A. Simon-Miller (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center), A. Sanchez-Lavega, R. Hueso, and S. Perez-Hoyos (University of the Basque Country), E. Garcia-Melendo (Esteve Duran Observatory Foundation, Spain), and G. Orton (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
 
 
Hubble Catches Jupiter Changing Its Stripes
The Galaxy Evolution Explorer's ultraviolet eyes have captured a globular star cluster, called NGC 362, in our own Milky Way galaxy. In this new image, the cluster appears next to stars from a more distant neighboring galaxy, known as the Small Magellanic Cloud.

This image is a false-color composite, where light detected by the Galaxy Evolution Explorer's far-ultraviolet detector is colored blue, and light from the telescope's near-ultraviolet detector is red.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Virginia
 
 
Galaxy Evolution Explorer Spies Band of Stars
Hubble observations of Vesta were taken with the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 on May 14 and 16, 2007.

Credit: NASA, ESA, and L. McFadden (University of Maryland)
 
 
Vesta - May 14, 2007
Hubble observations of the asteroid Ceres were made in visible and ultraviolet light between December 2003 and January 2004 with the Advanced Camera for Surveys.

Credit: NASA, ESA, and J. Parker (Southwest Research Institute)
 
 
Ceres - January 24, 2004
Eta Carinae is an extremely bright and unstable star located only about 7,500 light years from Earth. The star is thought to be consuming its nuclear fuel at an incredible rate, while quickly drawing closer to its ultimate explosive death.

Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/GSFC/M.Corcoran et al.; Optical: NASA/STScI
 
 
Eta Carinae - New View of Doomed Star
This is an image of the dwarf planet Eris (center) and its satellite Dysnomia (at 9 o'clock position) taken with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope on Aug. 30, 2006. Hubble observations were obtained on Dec. 3, 2005 and Aug. 30, 2006 using the Advanced Camera for Surveys. The Hubble images were combined with images from the Keck telescopes taken on Aug. 20, 21, 30, and 31 to measure the satellite's orbit and calculate a mass for Eris, which is the largest dwarf planet in the solar system.

Credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Brown (California Institute of Technology)
 
 
Hubble View of Eris and Dysnomia
Supernova remnant N132D was found to contain molecules that may one day form life.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/A. Tappe and J. Rho (SSC-Caltech)
 
 
A Supernova's Shockwaves
This sequence of images shows how 3c438, the galaxy at the center of this cluster, looks in various types of light. The X-ray image shows a much different structure from the optical image, including a massive arc-like structure to the lower left. There are also hints of a cavity in the hot gas to the upper left. Jets seen in the radio image do not point in the same directions as the cavity structure, adding more mysteries about this system.

(Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/CfA/R.P.Kraft; Optical: Pal.Obs. DSS; Radio: NRAO/VLA/A.H.Bridle & R.G.Strom)
 
 
Images of 3C438 and Surrounding Galaxy Cluster
The sharpest image ever taken of the large
 
 
Spiral Galaxy M81
Andromeda, the nearest major galaxy to the Milky Way, is shown here in this wide-field optical image from Kitt Peak. The central region of Andromeda is shown in a composite image, with X-rays from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory (blue) combined with the optical image.

Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/MPE/W.Pietsch et al; Optical: NOAO/AURA/NSF/T.Rector & B.A.Wolpa
 
 
Andromeda Galaxy (M31)
This image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows infant stars
 
 
Young Stars Emerge from Orion's Head
This image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows infant stars
 
 
Young Stars Emerge from Orion's Head
This Hubble Space Telescope composite image shows a ghostly
 
 
Hubble Finds Ring of Dark Matter
SN 2006gy is the brightest stellar explosion ever recorded and may be a long-sought new type of supernova, according to observations by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and ground-based optical telescopes. This discovery indicates that violent explosions of extremely massive stars were relatively common in the early universe. These data also suggest that a similar explosion may be ready to go off in our own Galaxy.

Credit: NASA/CXC/UC Berkeley/N.Smith et al.
 
 
Chandra X-ray Image of SN 2006gy
The bottom left panel is an infrared image, using adaptive optics at the Lick Observatory, of NGC 1260, the galaxy containing SN 2006gy. The dimmer source to the lower left in that panel is the center of NGC 1260, while the much brighter source to the upper right is SN 2006gy. The panel to the right shows Chandra's X-ray image of the same field of view, again showing the nucleus of NGC 1260 and SN 2006gy.

Credit: Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss; X-ray: NASA/CXC/UC Berkeley/N.Smith et al.; IR: Lick/UC Berkeley/J.Bloom & C.Hansen
 
 
Chandra Sees Brightest Supernova Ever
This Hubble Space Telescope image of a dense swarm of stars shows the central region of the globular cluster NGC 2808. Of the 150 known globular clusters in the Milky Way, NGC 2808 is one of the largest.

Credit: NASA, ESA, G. Piotto (University of Padua) and A. Sarajedini (University of Florida)
 
 
Globular Cluster with Multiple Stellar Populations
 
 
M81 by Galaxy Evolution Explorer
This is a Great Observatory view of the famous Sombrero galaxy using the Chandra, Hubble and Spitzer telescopes. The far left figure shows the composite image and the three images to its right show the separate observatory views. The Chandra X-ray image (blue) shows hot gas in the galaxy and point sources that are a mixture of galaxy members and background objects. The Hubble optical image (green) shows a bulge of starlight partially blocked by a rim of dust. The Spitzer image (red) shows the rim of dust glowing in the infrared and a central bulge of stars.

Credit: X-ray: NASA/UMass/Q.D.Wang et al.; Optical: NASA/STScI/AURA/Hubble Heritage; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. AZ/R.Kennicutt/SINGS Team
 
 
NASA's Great Observatories Composite of Sombrero Galaxy
Credit: NASA, ESA, N. Smith (UC Berkeley) and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
 
 
Carina Nebula Details
Credit: NASA, ESA, N. Smith (UC Berkeley) and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
 
 
Star-Forming Region in the Carina Nebula
This infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the Rosette nebula, a pretty star-forming region more than 5,000 light-years away in the constellation Monoceros. In optical light, the nebula looks like a rosebud, or the
 
 
The Heart of the Rosette
The Seven Sisters, also known as the Pleiades star cluster, seem to float on a bed of feathers in a new infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Clouds of dust sweep around the stars, swaddling them in a cushiony veil.

This image shows infrared light captured by Spitzer's infrared array camera. Light with wavelengths of 8 and 5.8 microns is red and orange; light of 4.5 microns is green; and light of 3.6 microns is blue.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/J. Stauffer (SSC/Caltech)
 
 
Pink Pleiades
The Seven Sisters, also known as the Pleiades star cluster, seem to float on a bed of feathers in a new infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Clouds of dust sweep around the stars, swaddling them in a cushiony veil.

This image is made up of data taken by Spitzer's multiband imaging photometer and its infrared array camera. Light with a wavelength of 4.5 microns is blue; light of 8 microns is green; and light of 24 microns is red.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/J. Stauffer (SSC/Caltech)
 
 
The Seven Sisters Pose for Spitzer
This Hubble Space Telescope view of the nearby barred spiral galaxy NGC 1672 unveils details in the galaxy's star-forming clouds and dark bands of interstellar dust. NGC 1672 is more than 60 million light-years away in the direction of the southern constellation Dorado. These observations of NGC 1672 were taken with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys in August of 2005.

Credit: NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration
 
 
Hubble’s View of Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1672
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