Space – Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer Telescope Images 2010 (30 Pics)

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope image captures the chaotic activity atop a three-light-year-tall pillar of gas and dust that is being eaten away by the brilliant light from nearby bright stars. The pillar is also being assaulted from within, as infant stars buried inside it fire off jets of gas that can be seen streaming from towering peaks. This turbulent cosmic pinnacle lies within a tempestuous stellar nursery called the Carina Nebula, located 7,500 light-years away in the southern constellation Carina. The image celebrates the 20th anniversary of Hubble’s launch and deployment into an orbit around Earth. Hubble was launched April 24, 1990.

Space - Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer Telescope Images 2010 (30 Pics)

Hubble bubble: A delicate sphere of gas, imaged by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, floats in the depths of space. The shell, or bubble, is the result of gas that is being shocked by the expanding blast wave from a supernova. Called SNR 0509-67.5 (or SNR 0509 for short), the bubble is the visible remnant of a powerful stellar explosion in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a small galaxy about 160,000 light-years from Earth.

Space - Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer Telescope Images 2010 (30 Pics)

The Orion Nebula, a stellar formation area located 1,350 million light years away, is captured by the Vista telescope, the biggest in the world, at Paranal hill, Chile.

Space - Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer Telescope Images 2010 (30 Pics)

This Hubble Space Telescope image shows a face-on view of spiral galaxy, called NGC 3982, striking for its rich tapestry of star birth, along with its winding arms. The arms are lined with pink star-forming regions of glowing hydrogen, newborn blue star clusters, and obscuring dust lanes that provide the raw material for future generations of stars. The bright nucleus is home to an older population of stars, which grow ever more densely packed toward the centre. NGC 3982 is located about 68 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major. The galaxy spans about 30,000 light-years, one-third of the size of our Milky Way galaxy.

Space - Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer Telescope Images 2010 (30 Pics)

This NASA composite image shows N49, the aftermath of a supernova explosion in the Large Magellanic Cloud. A new long observation from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory reveals evidence for a bullet-shaped object being blown out of debris field left over from an exploded star. In order to detect this bullet, researchers used Chandra to observe N49 for more than 30 hours. Using the new Chandra data, the age of N49 is thought to be about 5,000 years and the energy of the explosion is estimated to be about twice that of an average supernova. These preliminary results suggest that the original explosion was caused by the collapse of a massive star.



Space - Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer Telescope Images 2010 (30 Pics)

This image shows The Antennae galaxies, located about 62 million light years from Earth, in a composite image from NASA’s Great Observatories -the Chandra X-ray Observatory (blue), the Hubble Space Telescope (gold and brown), and the Spitzer Space Telescope (red). The Antennae galaxies take their name from the long antenna-like “arms,” seen in wide-angle views of the system. These features were produced by tidal forces generated in the collision. The collision, which began more than 100 million years ago and is still occurring, has triggered the formation of millions of stars in clouds of dusts and gas in the galaxies. The most massive of these young stars have already sped through their evolution in a few million years and exploded as supernovas.

Space - Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer Telescope Images 2010 (30 Pics)

A young, glittering collection of stars looks like a fireworks display. The cluster is surrounded by clouds of interstellar gas and dust, the raw material for new star formation. The nebula, located 20,000 light-years away in the constellation Carina, contains a central cluster of huge, hot stars, called NGC 3603. This Hubble Space Telescope image was captured in August 2009 and December 2009 with the Wide Field Camera 3 in both visible and infrared light, which trace the glow of sulphur, hydrogen, and iron.

Space - Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer Telescope Images 2010 (30 Pics)

A dragon-shaped cloud of dust seems to fly out from a bright explosion in this infrared light image (bottom) from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, a creature that is entirely cloaked in shadow when viewed in visible part of the spectrum (top). The infrared image reveals that this dark cloud, called M17 SWex, is forming stars at a furious rate but has not yet spawned the most massive type of stars, known as O stars. Such stellar behemoths, however, light up the M17 nebula at the image’s centre and have also blown a huge “bubble” in the gas and dust that forms M17’s luminous left edge. The M17 SWex “dragon” is hidden within dust clouds that are opaque to visible light. It takes an infrared view to catch the light from these shrouded regions and reveal the earliest stages of star formation.

Space - Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer Telescope Images 2010 (30 Pics)

A multi-wavelength investigation has revealed previously undetected spiral arms sweeping across the outskirts of spiral galaxy M94’s disk. Background galaxies are visible through the faint outer arms. The three spiky stars are in our own Milky Way galaxy.

Space - Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer Telescope Images 2010 (30 Pics)

Bright clusters and nebulae abound in the northern constellation of Auriga. The region includes M38, IC 410 with Tadpoles, the Flaming Star Nebula IC 405, and IC 417 and NGC 1931 (lower left); some say this pair suggests a cosmic spider and fly.

Space - Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer Telescope Images 2010 (30 Pics)

The immense Andromeda galaxy, also known as Messier 31, is captured in full in this new image from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE.

Space - Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer Telescope Images 2010 (30 Pics)

An image released by NASA shows the Heart and Soul nebulae in an infrared mosaic from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. Located about 6,000 light-years from Earth, the Heart and Soul nebulae form a vast star-forming complex that makes up part of the Perseus spiral arm of our Milky Way galaxy. The nebula to the left is the Heart, designated IC 1805 and named after its resemblance to a human heart. To the right is the Soul nebula, also known as the Embryo nebula, or IC 1848.

Space - Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer Telescope Images 2010 (30 Pics)

This infrared image of the centre of our Milky Way galaxy released in January 2009 combines the sharp imaging of the Hubble Space Telescope’s Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) with colour imagery from a previous Spitzer Space Telescope survey.

Space - Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer Telescope Images 2010 (30 Pics)

This is the sharpest wide-angle view ever obtained of the starburst galaxy, Messier 82 (M82). The galaxy is remarkable for its bright blue disk, webs of shredded clouds and fiery-looking plumes of glowing hydrogen blasting out of its central regions.In the galaxy’s centre, young stars are being born 10 times faster than they are inside our Milky Way Galaxy, resulting in a huge concentration of young stars. The fierce galactic superwind generated from these stars compresses enough gas to make millions of more stars. Most of the pale, white objects sprinkled around the body of M82 that look like fuzzy stars are actually individual star clusters about 20 light-years across and contain up to a million stars.

Space - Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer Telescope Images 2010 (30 Pics)

This handout picture made by the Spitzer Space Telescope and released by NASA shows a young black hole. Researchers analysed infrared images to identify the black holes which are up to 10 billion times the size of the sun.

Space - Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer Telescope Images 2010 (30 Pics)

This handout picture made by the Spitzer Space Telescope and released by NASA shows a young black hole. Researchers analysed infrared images to identify the black holes which are up to 10 billion times the size of the sun.

Space - Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer Telescope Images 2010 (30 Pics)

The vast Cat’s Paw Nebula in Scorpius. At 5,500 light years distant, Cat’s Paw is an emission nebula with a red colour that originates from an abundance of ionised hydrogen atoms. Alternatively known as the Bear Claw Nebula or NGC 6334, stars nearly ten times the mass of our Sun have been born there in only the past few million years.

Space - Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer Telescope Images 2010 (30 Pics)

NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has unveiled a previously unseen structure centred in the Milky Way. The feature spans 50,000 light-years and may be the remnant of an eruption from a supersized black hole at the centre of our galaxy. “What we see are two gamma-ray-emitting bubbles that extend 25,000 light-years north and south of the galactic centre,” said Doug Finkbeiner, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who first recognised the feature. “We don’t fully understand their nature or origin…”

Space - Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer Telescope Images 2010 (30 Pics)

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has imaged a striking galaxy called NGC 4452, which appears to lie exactly edge-on as seen from Earth. The result is an extraordinary picture of billions of stars observed from an unusual angle. The bright nucleus can be seen at the centre, along with the very thin disc that looks like a straight line from our unusual viewing position. NGC 4452 was first seen by William Herschel in 1784 with his 47 cm telescope in England. He described the object as a bright nebula, small and very much elongated.

Space - Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer Telescope Images 2010 (30 Pics)

This NASA image shows starlight which is slowly destroying a wandering cloud of gas and dust in the Pleiades star cluster. The star Merope lies just off the upper left edge of this picture from the Hubble Space Telescope. In the past 100,000 years, part of the cloud has by chance moved so close to this star that the starlight itself is having a very dramatic effect. Pressure of the star’s light significantly repels the dust in the reflection nebula, and and smaller dust particles are repelled more strongly. As a result, parts of the dust cloud have become stratified, pointing toward Merope. The closest particles are the most massive and the least affected by the radiation pressure. A longer-term result will be the general destruction of the dust by the energetic starlight.

Space - Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer Telescope Images 2010 (30 Pics)

The Red Rectangle nebula, which lies about 2,300 light years away towards the constellation of the Unicorn (Monoceros), is shown in unprecedented detail as captured recently by the Hubble Space Telescope. At the nebula’s centre is a young binary star system that surely powers the nebula but does not, as yet, explain its colours. The unusual shape of the Red Rectangle is likely due to a thick dust torus which pinches the otherwise spherical outflow into tip-touching cone shapes. Because we view the torus edge-on, the boundary edges of the cone shapes seem to form an X. The distinct rungs suggest the outflow occurs in fits and starts. The unusual colours of the nebula are less well understood, however, and current speculation holds that they are partly provided by hydrocarbon molecules that may actually be building blocks for organic life. In a few million years, as one of the central stars becomes further depleted of nuclear fuel, the Red Rectangle nebula will likely bloom into a planetary nebula.

Space - Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer Telescope Images 2010 (30 Pics)

Handout image from The Virgo Consortium of a computer simulation to illustrate the distribution of dark matter in the Universe. Secrets of the universe are to be revealed as a new telescope equipped with the world’s most powerful digital camera begins its observations of the night sky. The Pan-STARRS sky survey telescope, known as PS1, will enable scientists to better understand the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy, the material that is thought to account for much of the mass of the universe but has never been proven to exist.

Space - Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer Telescope Images 2010 (30 Pics)

An “island universe” captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. The galaxy NGC 4911 lies deep within the Coma Cluster of galaxies, 320 million light years away.

Space - Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer Telescope Images 2010 (30 Pics)

This image provided by NASA shows a mystery object that was discovered on Jan 6 by the LINEAR sky survey. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope was used to take this close-up look. It shows a bizarre X-pattern of filamentary structures near the point-like nucleus.

Space - Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer Telescope Images 2010 (30 Pics)

This NASA image shows Tycho’s Supernova, the red circle visible in the upper left part of the image, called SN 1572. It is a remnant of a star explosion and named after the astronomer Tycho Brahe, although he was not the only person to observe and record the supernova. When the supernova first appeared in November 1572, it was as bright as Venus and could be seen in the daytime. Over the next two years, the supernova dimmed until it could no longer be seen with the n*k*d eye. When the star exploded, it sent out a blast wave into the surrounding material, scooping up interstellar dust and gas as it went, like a snow plow. An expanding shock wave travelled into the surroundings and a reverse shock was driven back in toward the remnants of the star. To the right is a star-forming nebula of dust and gas, called S175. This cloud of material is about 3,500 light-years away and 35 light-years across. It is heated by radiation from the young, hot stars within it, and the dust within the cloud radiates infrared light.

Space - Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer Telescope Images 2010 (30 Pics)

This ESA/NASA/Hubble image shows a brief but beautiful phase late in the life of a star. The curious cloud around this bright star is called IRAS 19475+3119. It lies in the constellation of Cygnus (the Swan) about 15 000 light-years from Earth in the plane of our Milky Way galaxy.

Space - Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer Telescope Images 2010 (30 Pics)

A picture released by NASA shows a mosaic of 330 individual images of the Andromeda Galaxy, also known as M31, taken by the ultraviolet/optical telescope aboard NASA’s Swift spacecraft. It is the highest-resolution image of the galaxy ever recorded in the ultraviolet wave length. The Andromeda Galaxy is more than 220,000 light-years across and lies 2.5 million light-years away.

Space - Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer Telescope Images 2010 (30 Pics)

NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, captured this colourful image of the reflection nebula IRAS 12116-6001. This cloud of interstellar dust cannot be seen directly in visible light, but WISE’s detectors observed the nebula at infrared wavelengths. The bright blue star on the right side of the image is the variable star Epsilon Crucis. The green and red colours represent 12- and 22-micron light coming from the nebula’s dust grains warmed by nearby stars.

Space - Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer Telescope Images 2010 (30 Pics)

The Nebula IRAS 05437 2502 is seen in this Hubble Space Telescope. The bright upside-down V that defines the upper edge of this floating mountain of interstellar dust is puzzling researchers. This ghost like nebula involves a small star forming region filled with dark dust that was first noted in images taken by the IRAS satellite in infrared light in 1983. This recently released image shows many new details, but has not uncovered a clear cause of the bright sharp arc.

Space - Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer Telescope Images 2010 (30 Pics)

This image of Comet Hartley 2 was captured by NASA’s EPOXI mission during the spacecraft’s flyby of comet Hartley 2. It was captured using the spacecraft’s Medium-Resolution Instrument. The EPOXI – its full name is Extrasolar Planet Observation and Deep Impact Extended Investigation – reached the Hartley 2 comet after a 2.5-year journey across the solar system, a distance of some 4.6 billion kilometres (2.9 billion miles). The EPOXI mission flew within about 435 miles (700 kilometres) of the comet.

Space - Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer Telescope Images 2010 (30 Pics)