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Stars are the stars in 'History of Space Photography'

Exhibition mounted by Art Center College of Design and neighboring NASA affiliate JPL takes viewers on a trip through the cosmos.

A star is unborn: A composite image by the Hubble, Chandra, and Spitzer space telescopes shows a star's spectacular death scene in the Crab Nebula. JPL/Williamson Gallery

The Williamson Gallery at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., recently teamed with neighbor and NASA/Caltech affiliate the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to create an exhibition of photos that dazzles one with the visual extravagance of the cosmos.

"The History of Space Photography" features 150 images, selected by guest curator Jay Belloli and several consultants at JPL. Most are from the last 50 years or so, but some date back as far as the 19th century.

The exhibition wrapped up its inaugural showing at Art Center earlier in May, but it's scheduled to begin a tour of science museums in India this November, and will touch down at the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film in New York next year. (Space fanatics should get started on those travel arrangements now.)

"Though we are really trying to push the boundaries of knowledge, it's also a way of showing the beauty that's inherent in the universe," JPL's Randii Wessen said of the research images produced by JPL and other space-oriented organizations, in a comment to L.A.'s NBC4 News.

And when you see a picture of the Helix Nebula shot from the Spitzer space telescope, it's hard not to be wowed by the grandeur and vastness of space.

Click through our slideshow to get a taste of "The History of Space Photography."