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Spiral Galaxy M81 This beautiful galaxy is tilted at an oblique angle on to our line of sight, giving a "birds-eye view" of the spiral structure. The galaxy is similar to our Milky Way, but our favorable view provides a better picture of the typical architecture of spiral galaxies. The spiral arms, which wind all the way down into the nucleus, are made up of young, bluish, hot stars formed in the past few million years. A black hole of 70 million solar masses resides at the center of M81. Veil Nebula Called the Veil Nebula, the debris is one of the best-known supernova remnants, deriving its name from its delicate, draped filamentary structures. The entire nebula is 110 light-years across, covering six full moons on the sky as seen from Earth, and resides about 2,100 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus, the Swan. SWEEPS Field About 13 billion years ago, long before our sun formed, the construction of our Milky Way galaxy was just beginning. Young, mostly sun-like stars in the core, or central bulge, provided the building blocks for the galaxy's foundation. Many of these building-block stars have long since burned out, and are now just dying embers. But contained within these dead stars, called white dwarfs, is the early history of our galaxy, providing clues on how it came to be. Cassiopoeia A Cassiopeia A is a supernova remnant at distance 11,000 light-years in our galaxy in the consellation Cassiopeia. The original star, about 15 to 20 times more massive than our sun, died in a cataclysmic "supernova" explosion relatively recently in our own Milky Way galaxy. Pandora’s Cluster The giant galaxy cluster appears to be the result of a simultaneous pile-up of at least four separate, smaller galaxy clusters. The crash took place over a span of 350 million years. The galaxies in the cluster make up less than 5 percent of its mass. The gas (around 20 percent) is so hot that it shines only in X-rays (colored red in this image). The distribution of invisible dark matter (making up around 75 percent of the cluster’s mass) is colored here in blue. Pillars Of Creation The towering pillars are about 5 light-years tall, bathed in the blistering ultraviolet light from a group of young, massive stars located off the top of the image. Stars are being born deep inside the pillars, which are made of cold hydrogen gas laced with dust. Rose Galaxies The newly released Hubble image shows a large spiral galaxy, known as UGC 1810, with a disk that is distorted into a rose-like shape by the gravitational tidal pull of the companion galaxy below it, known as UGC 1813. A swath of blue jewel-like points across the top is the combined light from clusters of intensely bright and hot young blue stars. These massive stars glow fiercely in ultraviolet light. Supermassive Black Hole – Artist’s Impression This artist’s impression shows the surroundings of a supermassive black hole, typical of that found at the heart of many galaxies. The black hole itself is surrounded by a brilliant accretion disc of very hot, infalling material and, further out, a dusty torus. There are also often high-speed jets of material ejected at the black hole’s poles that can extend huge distances into space. La Silla The majestic telescope enclosure aligns perfectly with the Milky Way’s central region — the brightest section and the area which obscures the galactic centre. The distinctive octagonal enclosure that houses the NTT stands tall in this image — silhouetted against the glittering cosmos above and almost appearing to consume the Milky Way. This telescope housing was considered a technological breakthrough when completed in 1989. Orion Nebula This turbulent star formation region is one of astronomy's most dramatic and photogenic celestial objects. The Orion Nebula is a picture book of star formation, from the massive, young stars that are shaping the nebula to the pillars of dense gas that may be the homes of budding stars. Galactic Core This composite color infrared image of the center of our Milky Way galaxy reveals a new population of massive stars and new details in complex structures in the hot ionized gas swirling around the central 300 light-years. Spiral Galaxy M81 2 M81 or Bode's galaxy is a large bright spiral galaxy located 11.8 million light-years from Earth in the constellation of Ursa Major. With an apparent magnitude of +6.9 it's easily visible with binoculars, a fine target for small telescope owners and a wonderful sight in larger scopes. The galaxy is a striking example of a grand design spiral; a galaxy that exhibits prominent near perfect and well defined spiral arms. PHAT Mosaic The Andromeda Galaxy (M31) is the closest large galaxy to the Milky Way and is one of a few galaxies that can be seen unaided from the Earth. In approximately 4.5 billion years the Andromeda Galaxy and the Milky Way are expected to collide and the result will be a giant elliptical galaxy. Andromeda is accompanied by 14 dwarf galaxies, including M32, M110, and possibly M33 (The Triangulum Galaxy). Stephen Smartt Collage 1 (From top left to bottom right) ‘This Is No Supermodel Spiral’. Galaxies, like humans, are not all supermodels. This little spiral, known as NGC 4102, has a different kind of appeal, with its tightly-wound spiral arms and understated, but charming, appearance. NGC1084, a near-perfect example of a loose spiral galaxy with a near-perfect view of it. NGC 613 is classified as a barred spiral galaxy for the bar-shaped band of stars and dust crossing its intensely glowing centre. our own galaxy appears to have one of these bars through its midline as well. NGC 3521, a galaxy with a soft, woolly appearance, part of a class of galaxies known as ‘flocculent spirals’. Stephen Smartt Collage 2 (From top left to bottom right) NGC 4845’s glowing centre hosts a gigantic version of a black hole, known as a supermassive black hole. The presence of a black hole in a distant galaxy like NGC 4845 can be inferred from its effect on the galaxy’s innermost stars; these stars experience a strong gravitational pull from the black hole and whizz around the galaxy’s centre much faster than otherwise. NGC 2397, pictured in this image from Hubble, is a classic spiral galaxy with long prominent dust lanes along the edges of its arms, seen as dark patches and streaks silhouetted against the starlight. Hubble's exquisite resolution allows the study of individual stars in nearby galaxies. Like a lighthouse in the fog the luminous core of NGC 2768 slowly fades outwards to a dull white haze in this image taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.NGC 2768 is an elliptical galaxy in the constellation of Ursa Major (The Great Bear). A team of European astronomers is using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to look back in time. They have imaged the spiral galaxy NGC 3982 and hundreds of other galaxies in the hope that one of the millions of stars in these images will some day explode as a supernova. They can then look back and pinpoint the exact star that has exploded. Earthrise This image is composite made from a series of images taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera in 2015. When it was acquiring the images, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter was about 83 miles (134 kilometers) above Compton crater on the Moon’s far side. In this view, the center of Earth’s disk is 4.04 degrees North, 12.44 degrees West, just off the coast of Liberia. The large tan area in the upper right is the Sahara Desert and Saudi Arabia. The Atlantic coast of South America is visible to the west. Pluto From New Horizons Pluto’s surface sports a remarkable range of subtle colors, enhanced in this view to a rainbow of pale blues, yellows, oranges, and deep reds. Many landforms have their own distinct colors, telling a complex geological and climatological story that scientists have only just begun to decode. Comet 67P From Rosetta 67P (or Churyumov–Gerasimenko) was the destination of the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission, launched on 2 March 2004. Rosetta rendezvoused with Churyumov–Gerasimenko on 6 August 2014 and entered orbit on 10 September 2014. Rosetta's lander, Philae, touched down on its surface on 12 November 2014, becoming the first spacecraft to land on a comet nucleus.