ripples: Crab Nebula, photographed by Hubble, autumn 2005.

10 images in 558 nm (green) light, September-December 2005.

The Crab Nebula is a cloud of gas 11 light years across, created by the collapse and explosion of a giant star in 1054 AD (a Type II supernova). At the centre of the nebula is a neutron star, the Crab Pulsar, the incredibly dense remnant of the original star; 1.5 to 2 times the mass of the Sun, but only 30 km across. Intense solar wind from the pulsar creates visible ripples in the surrounding nebula.

From Proposal 10526. Some more gifs of the Crab Nebula seen by Hubble.

Image credit: NASA/ESA/STScI. Animation: AgeOfDestruction.

NGC 6752 is a globular cluster of intermediate density in the constellation Pavo. First identified in 1826 by James Dunlop, the cluster lies around 13,000 light years distant. It is visible to the naked eye in good viewing conditions. Photograph: NASA/STScI


dreamed about you too: Comet and stars, photographed by Hubble Space Telescope, 3rd March 2001.

Comet 74P/Smirnova–Chernykh, photographed 8 (top), 8 (middle), and 6 times (bottom). The camera follows the comet, so the background stars appear to zip past in a blur. Since comets do not randomly change direction, the different apparent motions of the stars was presumably created by Hubble changing orientation between sets.

Smirnova–Chernykh, which has an orbit comparable to outer main-belt asteroids, was discovered by Tamara Smirnova (1935-2001) and Nikolai Chernykh (1931-2004) at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory in 1975. Smirnova also discovered 135 asteroids during her career; Chernykh discovered another comet and a staggering 537 asteroids.

Photographed here under Hubble Proposal 8699, by Laurent Lamy of the Observatoire de Paris.

Image credit: NASA/ESA/STScI. Animation: AgeOfDestruction.

Cluster and Starforming Region Westerlund 2

Located 20,000 light-years away in the constellation Carina, the young cluster and starforming region Westerlund 2 fills this cosmic scene. Captured with Hubble’s cameras in near-infrared and visible light, the stunning image is a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope on April 24, 1990. The cluster’s dense concentration of luminous, massive stars is about 10 light-years across. Strong winds and radiation from those massive young stars have sculpted and shaped the region’s gas and dust, into starforming pillars that point back to the central cluster. Red dots surrounding the bright stars are the cluster’s faint newborn stars, still within their natal gas and dust cocoons. But brighter blue stars scattered around are likely not in the Westerlund 2 cluster and instead lie in the foreground of the Hubble anniversary field of view.

Image Credit & Copyright: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), A. Nota (ESA/STScI), and the Westerlund 2 Science Team

An optical image of NGC 6543 from the first systematic survey of such objects in the solar neighbourhood made with NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. A planetary nebula is a phase of stellar evolution that the sun should experience several billion years from now, when it expands to become a red giant and then sheds most of its outer layers, leaving behind a hot core that contracts to form a dense white dwarf star. Oct. 11, 2012.

© Reuters/NASA/STScI

Hubble Captures a Collision in a Black Hole's "Death Star" Beam

Hubble Captures a Collision in a Black Hole’s “Death Star” Beam

Activity within a jet from NGC 3852 observed with Hubble over 20 years. Credit: NASA, ESA, and E. Meyer (STScI).

Even the Empire’s planet-blasting battle station has nothing compared to the immense energy being fired from the heart of NGC 3862, a supermassive black hole-harboring elliptical galaxy located 300 million light-years away.

And while jets of high-energy plasma coming from active…

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A galaxy in bloom

The ghostly shells of galaxy ESO 381-12 are captured here in a image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, set against a backdrop of distant galaxies. The strikingly uneven structure and the clusters of stars that orbit around the galaxy suggest that ESO 381-12 may have been part of a dramatic collision sometime in its relatively recent past.

Credit:  NASA, ESA, P. Goudfrooij (STScI)

reupload: Almost certainly the first gif posted on ageofdestruction.

Transit of Io across Jupiter, photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope, 1st April 1997.

You can also see the dark shadow of Io, above the moon itself in the image, moving across the face of Jupiter.

Image credit: NASA/ESA/STScl. Proposal 6774.

The date given is wrong, because I hadn’t figured out how to read HST proposals at that point; actually photographed 22nd July 1997.

Ring Galaxy AM 0644-741 from Hubble

How could a galaxy become shaped like a ring? The rim of the blue galaxy pictured on the right is an immense ring-like structure 150,000 light years in diameter composed of newly formed, extremely bright, massive stars. That galaxy, AM 0644-741, is known as a ring galaxy and was caused by an immense galaxy collision. When galaxies collide, they pass through each other – their individual stars rarely come into contact. The ring-like shape is the result of the gravitational disruption caused by an entire small intruder galaxy passing through a large one. When this happens, interstellar gas and dust become condensed, causing a wave of star formation to move out from the impact point like a ripple across the surface of a pond. The intruder galaxy is just outside of the frame taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. This featured image was taken to commemorate the anniversary of Hubble’s launch in 1990. Ring galaxy AM 0644-741 lies about 300 million light years away.

Image Credit: Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI), J. Higdon (Cornell) ESA, NASA

47 Tucanae (NGC 104) by Hubble Heritage
Via Flickr:
Globular star clusters are isolated star cities, home to hundreds of thousands of stars. And like the fast pace of nearly all major cities, these stars are in constant motion, orbiting around the cluster’s center. Past observations have shown that the heavyweight stars live in the crowded downtown, or core, and lightweight stars reside in the less populated suburbs. The heart of the giant globular star cluster 47 Tucanae in this Hubble Space Telescope image reveals the glow of 200,000 stars. In the cluster’s crowded core, Hubble spied a population of young white dwarfs starting their slow-paced 40-million-year journey to the quiter, and less dense suburbs. White dwarfs are the burned-out relics of stars that rapidly lose mass, cool down, and shut off their nuclear furnaces. As these stars age and shed weight, their orbits begin to expand outward from the cluster’s packed downtown. This migration is caused by a gravitational tussle among stars in the cluster. Astronomers use Hubble to analyze all types of stars globular clusters. Also known as NGC 104, 47 Tuc is located 16,700 light-years away in our Milky Way galaxy’s southern constellation of Tucana. It is the second brightest globular after Omega Centauri, another southern hemisphere globular. Both are easily visible with the naked eye. Our Milky Way galaxy hosts over 150 of these star cluster cities. These Hubble observations of 47 Tuc were taken with the Advanced Camera for Surveys and Wide Field Camera 3. Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration Acknowledgment: J. Mack (STScI) and G. Piotto (University of Padova, Italy)

Light Show

A grand ringed planet, Saturn is one of the most intriguing bodies orbiting our sun. This image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2009 features Saturn with the rings edge-on and both poles in view, offering a stunning double view of its fluttering auroras.

Created by the interaction of the solar wind with the planet’s magnetic field, Saturn’s aurorae are analogous to the more familiar northern and southern lights on Earth. At the time when Hubble snapped this picture, Saturn was approaching its equinox so both poles were equally illuminated by the sun’s rays.

At first glance the light show of Saturn’s auroras appears symmetric at the two poles. However, astronomers discovered some subtle differences between the northern and southern auroras, which reveal important information about Saturn’s magnetic field. The northern auroral oval is slightly smaller and more intense than the southern one, implying that Saturn’s magnetic field is not equally distributed across the planet; it is slightly uneven and stronger in the north than the south.

Image Credit: NASA/ESA/STScI/University of Leicester

As seen on #Cosmos: The next major cosmic event to affect our galaxy, sun, and solar system: the titanic collision of our Milky Way galaxy with the neighboring Andromeda galaxy. The Milky Way is destined to get a major makeover during the encounter, which is predicted to happen four billion years from now. It is likely the sun will be flung into a new region of our galaxy, but our Earth and solar system are in no danger of being destroyed.

This illustration shows a stage in the predicted merger between our Milky Way galaxy and the neighboring Andromeda galaxy, as it will unfold over the next several billion years. In this image, representing Earth’s night sky in 3.75 billion years, Andromeda (left) fills the field of view and begins to distort the Milky Way with tidal pull.

Credit: NASA; ESA; Z. Levay and R. van der Marel, STScI; T. Hallas; and A. Mellinger

#nasa #space #universe #hubble #stsci #hubbletelescope #galaxy #milkyway

M51: X-Rays from the Whirlpool

X-ray: NASA

What if we X-rayed an entire spiral galaxy? This was done (again) recently by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory for the nearby interacting galaxies known as the Whirlpool (M51). Hundreds of glittering x-ray stars are present in the above Chandra image of the spiral and its neighbor. The image is a conglomerate of X-ray light from Chandra and visible light from the Hubble Space Telescope. The number of luminous x-ray sources, likely neutron star and black hole binary systems within the confines of M51, is unusually high for normal spiral or elliptical galaxies and suggests this cosmic whirlpool has experienced intense bursts of massive star formation. The bright cores of both galaxies, NGC 5194 and NGC 5195 (right and left respectively), also exhibit high-energy activity. In this false-color image where X-rays are depicted in purple, diffuse X-ray emission typically results from multi-million degree gas heated by supernova explosions.

The Sombrero Galaxy from Hubble

(via APOD; Image Credit: Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI /NASA) )

Why does the Sombrero Galaxy look like a hat? Reasons include the Sombrero’s unusually large and extended central bulge of stars, and dark prominent dust lanes that appear in a disk that we see nearly edge-on. Billions of old stars cause the diffuse glow of the extended central bulge. Close inspection of the bulge in the above photograph shows many points of light that are actually globular clusters. M104’s spectacular dust rings harbor many younger and brighter stars, and show intricate details astronomers don’t yet fully understand. The very center of the Sombrero glows across the electromagnetic spectrum, and is thought to house a large black hole. Fifty million-year-old light from the Sombrero Galaxy can be seen with a small telescope towards the constellation of Virgo.