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Images: Far-flung galaxies and newborn stars

The Hubble telescope has captured 700,000 images during its 15 years in orbit. Here are a few.

Far-flung galaxies and newborn stars

The Hubble Space Telescope was placed into orbit on April 25, 1990. Since then, it has taken more than 700,000 photographs of celestial objects and events, according to the Space Telescope Science Institute's Office of Public Outreach. At right is an image of a dying star.

Credit: NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI), and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

dying star

Far-flung galaxies and newborn stars

To commemorate the Hubble's 15th anniversary, NASA on Monday released new photographs of the "Whirlpool Galaxy," also known as spiral galaxy M51, and the Eagle Nebula. This detail from an image of the nebula shows a pillar of gas and dust. The nebula is illuminated by the light of young stars nearby.

Credit: NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Eagle Nebula detail

Far-flung galaxies and newborn stars

With this photo, it's easy to speculate about how the Whirlpool Galaxy got its name. The dust clouds visible here are the birthplaces of massive new stars, which show up red in this photo. The gravitational pull of a neighboring galaxy--galaxy NGC 5195, visible in the upper right corner--is helping create the new stars.

Credit: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Whirlpool Galaxy

Far-flung galaxies and newborn stars

At right is a detailed view of the nucleus of the Whirlpool Galaxy, which is about 37 million light-years away. It was discovered in 1773 by Charles Messier, a French astronomer.

Credit: NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI), and the Hubble Team (STScI) (AURA)

nucleus of Whirlpool Galaxy

Far-flung galaxies and newborn stars

This image depicts details of one of the Whirlpool Galaxy's spiral arms. The blue clusters are new stars.

Credit: NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI), and the Hubble Team (STScI) (AURA)

arm of Whirlpool Galaxy

Far-flung galaxies and newborn stars

This detail of the Whirlpool Galaxy also offers a glimpse of galaxy NGC 5195.

Credit: NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI), and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Whirlpool Galaxy detail

Far-flung galaxies and newborn stars

At the center of a nearby galaxy, Centaurus A, lies a black hole that feeds on smaller galaxies.

Credit: NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI)

Black hole feeds

Far-flung galaxies and newborn stars

In 2002, Hubble spied on a trillion-mile-long tunnel of glowing gases which form the Helix Nebula.

Credit: NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI)

Helix Nebula

Far-flung galaxies and newborn stars

This image shows the impact of multiple comets on Jupiter.

Credit: Hubble Space Telescope Comet Team and NASA

Jupiter

Far-flung galaxies and newborn stars

This image of angry-looking Mars was taken in 2003 when the red planet was 35 million miles from Earth, its closest approach in 60,000 years

Credit: NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI)

Mars

Far-flung galaxies and newborn stars

These images of supernovae are part of the Hubble's investigation of dark energy.

Credit: NASA and A. Riess (STScI)

distant supernovae

Far-flung galaxies and newborn stars

At right is a fading supernova.

Credit: NASA, P. Challis, R. Kirshner (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) and B. Sugerman (STScI)

fading supernova

Far-flung galaxies and newborn stars

This image is part of a survey of quasar host galaxies.

Credit: John Bahcall (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton), Mike Disney (University of Wales), and NASA

quasar host galaxy survey

Far-flung galaxies and newborn stars

The Hubble Space Telescope, as seen from the space shuttle, is about the size of a school bus.

Credit: NASA

Hubble

Far-flung galaxies and newborn stars

This image represents all the data gathered by the Hubble since it began taking photos of the universe 15 years ago.

Credit: NASA, ESA, and R. Thompson (CSC/STScI)

Hubble data