@nasahubble Hubble Space Telescope

This is the official account for NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, managed and operated by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

@nasahubble photos and videos

8 hours ago

#Hubble30 Have a telescope? Want to commemorate Hubble’s 30th anniversary in your own way? Set up your 'scope and do some Hubble stargazing! View some of the same objects that Hubble has seen! https://go.nasa.gov/2UsYb1V

10 hours ago

#Hubble30 (1994 ) One of the Hubble Space Telescope's most famous images, these towers of gas and dust in the Eagle Nebula (M16 ) are known as the "Pillars of Creation." The pillars are in some ways akin to buttes in the desert, where basalt and other dense rock have protected a region from erosion, while the surrounding landscape has been worn away over millennia. In this celestial case, it is especially dense clouds of molecular hydrogen gas and dust that have survived longer than their surroundings in the face of a flood of ultraviolet light from hot, massive newborn stars (located off the top edge of the picture ). This process is called "photoevaporation." This ultraviolet light is also responsible for illuminating the convoluted surfaces of the columns and the ghostly streamers of gas boiling away from their surfaces, producing the dramatic visual effects that highlight the three-dimensional nature of the clouds. The tallest pillar (left ) is about 4 light-years long from base to tip. As the pillars themselves are slowly eroded away by the ultraviolet light, small globules of even denser gas buried within the pillars are uncovered. Forming inside at least some of the globules are embryonic stars. For more information, follow the link in our bio. Credit: NASA, ESA, STScI, J. Hester and P. Scowen (Arizona State University )


#Hubble30 (1994 ) This image of the center of spiral galaxy Messier 100 (M100 ) was taken after the Hubble Space Telescope's first servicing mission and showcased the dramatic improvement in Hubble's vision. Hubble's vision upon launch was blurry due to a slight flaw in its mirror. Astronauts on the first servicing mission installed corrective optics to compensate for the flaw, and a new instrument — the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 — that had corrections for the flaw built in. This image was taken with that new instrument. M100 is one of the brightest members of the Virgo Cluster of galaxies. The spiral galaxy has two prominent arms of bright stars and several fainter arms. For more information, follow the link in our bio. Credit: NASA, STScI

2 days ago

#Hubble30 (1993 ) This is an image of a small portion of the Cygnus Loop supernova remnant, which marks the edge of a bubble-like, expanding blast wave from a colossal stellar explosion that occurred about 15,000 years ago. The Hubble image shows the structure behind the shock waves in the Cygnus Loop with unprecedented clarity, allowing astronomers to compare the actual structure of the shock with theoretical model calculations. The supernova blast wave is slamming into tenuous clouds of interstellar gas. This collision heats and compresses the gas, causing it to glow. For more information, follow the link in our bio. Credit: J.J. Hester (Arizona State University ) and NASA; Co-investigators: P.A. Scowen (Arizona State University ), Ed Groth (Princeton University ), Tod Lauer (NOAO ), and the WFPC Instrument Definition Team

3 days ago

#Hubble30 (1992 ) This is a Hubble Space Telescope image of a giant disk of cold gas and dust fueling a black hole at the core of the galaxy NGC 4261. Estimated to be 300 light-years across, the disk is tipped enough (about 60 degrees ) to provide astronomers with a clear view of its bright hub that harbors the black hole. The dark, dusty disk represents a cold outer region, which extends inward to an ultra-hot accretion disk within a few hundred million miles of the black hole. This disk feeds matter into the black hole, where gravity compresses and heats the material. Some hot gas emerges from the black hole's near vicinity to create radio jets. The jets are aligned perpendicular to the disk, like an axle through a wheel. For more information, follow the link in our bio. Credit: Walter Jaffe/Leiden Observatory, Holland Ford/JHU/STScI, and NASA

3 days ago

#HubbleFriday NGC 4618 was discovered on April 9, 1787, by the German-British astronomer William Herschel, who also discovered Uranus in 1781. Only a year before discovering NGC 4618, Herschel theorized that the “foggy” objects astronomers were seeing in the night sky were likely to be large star clusters located much farther away than the individual stars he could easily discern. Since Herschel proposed his theory, astronomers have come to understand that what he was seeing was a galaxy. NGC 4618, classified as a barred spiral galaxy, has the special distinction among other spiral galaxies of only having one arm rotating around the center of the galaxy. Located about 21 million light-years from our galaxy in the constellation Canes Venatici, NGC 4618 has a diameter of about one-third that of the Milky Way. Together with its neighbor, NGC 4625, it forms an interacting galaxy pair, which means that the two galaxies are close enough to influence each other gravitationally. These interactions may result in the two (or more ) galaxies merging together to form a new formation, such as a ring galaxy. For more information, follow the link in our bio. Text credit: ESA (European Space Agency ) Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, I. Karachentsev #NASA #Hubble #space #science #astronomy #universe #telescope #cosmos #galaxy

4 days ago

#Hubble30 In 1991 Hubble released its first true-color photograph of the giant planet Jupiter. All features in this image are cloud formations in the atmosphere of Jupiter. The formations contain small crystals of frozen ammonia and traces of colorful chemical compounds of carbon, sulfur and phosphorus. The temperatures of the clouds are extremely cold, about minus 280 degrees Fahrenheit. Jupiter's famous Great Red Spot, a centuries-old, hurricane-like formation that is large enough to more than encompass the whole Earth, is visible at the lower right. The Great Red Spot is seen here to be producing an unusual tent-shaped structure on the edge of Jupiter's South Equatorial Belt, the horizontal dark band just above (north of ) the Great Red Spot. To the left and below the Great Red Spot, there is a so-called white oval, one of several that formed in or around 1940. The photograph shows much more detail than can be seen with telescopes on the ground, and thus provided a sharp view for comparison with the images obtained during brief intervals in 1973–74 by NASA's Pioneer 10 and 11 space probes, and in 1979 during the Jupiter encounters of Voyager 1 and Voyager 2. For more information, follow the link in our bio. Credit: NASA, ESA, and J. Westphal (Caltech )

4 days ago

#Hubble30 For the next 30 days, we’ll be counting down to Hubble’s 30th anniversary, sharing one great image for each year of Hubble’s career. We’ll start today with an image from 1991 to celebrate Hubble’s first birthday & end with 2020, when we’ll reveal Hubble’s newest image!

6 days ago

#HubbleClassic A cluster of brilliant blue stars sparkle within a cloud of gas and dust, which recently gave birth to the stars. Called NGC 602, the cluster resides in the Small Magellanic Cloud, a dwarf galaxy neighboring our Milky Way. For more information, follow the link in our bio. Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA ) – ESA/Hubble Collaboration #NASA #Hubble #space #science #astronomy #universe #telescope #cosmos

2 weeks ago

#HubbleFriday This image taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the galaxy NGC 4237. Located about 60 million light-years from Earth in the constellation of Coma Berenices (Berenice's Hair ), NGC 4237 is classified as a flocculent spiral galaxy. This means that its spiral arms are not clearly distinguishable from each other, as in “grand design” spiral galaxies, but are instead patchy and discontinuous. This gives the galaxy a fluffy appearance, somewhat resembling fluffy cotton. Astronomers studying NGC 4237 were actually more interested in its galactic bulge — its bright central region. By learning more about these bulges, we can explore how spiral galaxies have evolved, and study the growth of the supermassive black holes that lurk at the centers of most spirals. There are indications that the mass of the black hole at the center of a galaxy is related to the mass of its bulge. However, this connection is still uncertain, and why these two components should be so strongly correlated is still a mystery — one that astronomers hope to solve by studying galaxies in the nearby universe, such as NGC 4237. For more information, follow the link in our bio. Text credit: ESA (European Space Agency ) Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, P. Erwin et al. #NASA #Hubble #space #science #astronomy #universe #telescope #cosmos #galaxy #blackhole #Friday

2 weeks ago

The weather forecast for galaxies hosting monster, active black holes is blustery. Engorged by infalling material, a supermassive black hole heats so much gas that it can shine 1,000 times brighter than its host galaxy. But that’s not all. Hubble astronomers found that the region around the black hole emits so much radiation that it pushes out material at a few percent the speed of light (a speed fast enough to travel from Earth to the Moon in a few minutes ). This material slams into a host galaxy’s lanes of gas and dust, preventing the formation of new stars. The torrential winds are snowplowing the equivalent of hundreds of solar masses of material each year. And, the forecast is that this stormy weather will continue for at least ten million years. For more information, follow the link in our bio. Credit: NASA, ESA, and N. Arav Artist’s Illustration: NASA, ESA and J. Olmsted (STScI ) #NASA #Hubble #space #science #astronomy #universe #telescope #cosmos #blackhole #quasar

2 weeks ago

This scene of stellar creation, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, sits near the outskirts of the famous Tarantula Nebula, the largest known stellar nursery in the local universe. Called LHA 120-N 150, this cloud of gas and dust, along with the many young and massive stars surrounding it, is the perfect laboratory to study the origin of massive stars. The nebula is situated more than 160,000 light-years away in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a neighboring dwarf irregular galaxy that orbits our galaxy, the Milky Way. For more information, follow the link in our bio. Credit: ESA/Hubble, NASA, I. Stephens #NASA #Hubble #space #science #astronomy #universe #telescope #cosmos #nebula

2 weeks ago

#HubbleClassic Happy #stpatricksday Hubble spied a ghostly green blob of gas floating near the spiral galaxy IC 2497. Called Hanny's Voorwerp ("Hanny's Object" in Dutch ), it's part of a streamer of gas stretching 300,000 light-years around the galaxy. For more information, follow the link in our bio. Credit: NASA, ESA, W. Keel (University of Alabama ), and the Galaxy Zoo Team #NASA #Hubble #space #science #astronomy #universe #telescope #cosmos

3 weeks ago

#HubbleFriday The subject of this image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, a spiral galaxy named NGC 1589, was once the scene of a violent bout of cosmic hunger pangs. As astronomers looked on, a poor, hapless star was seemingly torn apart and devoured by the ravenous supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy. The astronomers are now using Hubble to test this interpretation. The telescope has observed such events before, so the scientists are confident that Hubble will be able to provide smoking-gun evidence in the form of stellar debris that was ejected during the disruption event. For more information, follow the link in our bio. Text credit: ESA (European Space Agency ) Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA #NASA #Hubble #space #science #astronomy #universe #telescope #cosmos #galaxy #Friday #blackhole #fridaythe13th

3 weeks ago

#HubbleClassic An expanding cloud of gas given off by a dying Sun-like star, this planetary nebula named NGC 3132 is also known as the Southern Ring Nebula. Found in the constellation Vela, it can be seen by amateur astronomers in the Southern Hemisphere. For more information, follow the link in our bio. Credit: The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA/NASA ) #NASA #Hubble #space #science #astronomy #universe #telescope #cosmos #nebula

3 weeks ago

A simple single-cell organism that may be growing on your lawn is helping astronomers probe the largest structures in the universe. These organisms, called slime mold, feed on dead plant material, and they have an uncanny ability to seek out food sources. Although brainless, the organism's "genius" at creating efficient networks to reach their food goal has caught the attention of scientists. Researchers have recreated the slime mold's behavior in computer algorithms to help solve large-scale engineering problems such as finding the most efficient traffic routes in large cities, solving mazes, and pinpointing crowd evacuation routes. A team of astronomers has now turned to slime mold to help them trace the universe's large-scale network of filaments. Built by gravity, these vast cobweb structures, called the cosmic web, tie galaxies and clusters of galaxies together along faint bridges of gas and dark matter hundreds of millions of light-years long. To trace the filaments, the research team designed a computer algorithm informed by slime-mold behavior. The team seeded the algorithm with the charted positions of 37,000 galaxies and ran it to generate a filamentary map. The astronomers then used archival observations from the Hubble Space Telescope to detect and study the faint gas permeating the web at the predicted locations. For more information, follow the link in our bio. Credit: NASA, ESA, and J. Burchett and O. Elek (UC Santa Cruz ) #NASA #Hubble #space #science #astronomy #universe #telescope #cosmos

4 weeks ago

#HubbleFriday The barred spiral galaxy NGC 3887, seen here as viewed by the Wide Field Camera 3 aboard the Hubble Space Telescope, lies over 60 million light-years away from us in the southern constellation of Crater (the Cup ). It was discovered on Dec. 31, 1785, by astronomer William Herschel. Its orientation to us, while not exactly face-on, allows us to see NGC 3887’s spiral arms and central bulge in detail, making it an ideal target for studying a spiral galaxy’s winding arms and the stars within them. The very existence of spiral arms was for a long time a problem for astronomers. The arms emanate from a spinning core and should therefore become wound up ever more tightly, causing them to eventually disappear after a (cosmologically ) short amount of time. It was only in the 1960s that astronomers came up with the solution to this winding problem; rather than behaving like rigid structures, spiral arms are in fact areas of greater density in a galaxy’s disk, with dynamics similar to those of a traffic jam. The density of cars moving through a traffic jam increases at the center of the jam, where they move more slowly. Spiral arms function in a similar way; as gas and dust move through the density waves, they become compressed and linger before moving out of them again. For more information, follow the link in our bio. Text credit: ESA (European Space Agency ) Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, P. Erwin et al. #NASA #Hubble #space #science #astronomy #universe #telescope #cosmos #galaxy #Herschel #Friday

4 weeks ago

It's #WorldWildlifeDay ! Hubble often observes celestial objects that are named after animals or look like animals when some imagination is applied. This #HubbleClassic shows two galaxies, known as Arp 142, that resemble a bird protecting its egg. For more information on Hubble, follow the link in our bio. Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA ) #NASA #Hubble #space #science #astronomy #universe #telescope #cosmos #galaxies

last month

#HubbleFriday The subject of this image is known as NGC 691, and it can be found some 120 million light-years from Earth. This galaxy was one of thousands of objects discovered by astronomer William Herschel during his prolific decades-long career spent hunting for, characterizing and cataloging a wide array of the galaxies and nebulas visible throughout the night sky — almost 200 years before Hubble was even launched. The intricate detail visible in this image would likely be extraordinary to Herschel. Hubble was able to capture an impressive level of structure within NGC 691’s layers of stars and spiraling arms — all courtesy of the telescope’s high-resolution Wide Field Camera 3. For more information, follow the link in our bio. Text credit: ESA (European Space Agency ) Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Riess et al. #NASA #Hubble #space #science #astronomy #universe #telescope #cosmos #galaxy #Herschel #Friday

last month

This #HubbleClassic shows a thin section of a supernova remnant, produced when a massive star exploded. Observers on Earth witnessed this particular explosion in the year 1006, when it appeared brighter than Venus, so the supernova is called SN 1006. For more information on Hubble, follow the link in our bio. Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA ) Acknowledgment: W. Blair (Johns Hopkins University ) #NASA #Hubble #space #science #astronomy #universe #telescope #cosmos #supernova #star #explosion

last month

#HubbleFriday Hubble is no stranger to spiral galaxies. The telescope has brought us some of the most beautiful images ever taken of our spiral neighbors — and the galaxy known as NGC 4689 is no exception. However, seen almost face on, NGC 4689 appears less like a majestic spiral and more like a smudged fingerprint on the sky. No matter how good the image quality, there is little contrast between the spiraling arms of stars, gas and dust, and the less dense areas in between. This is because NGC 4689 is something known as an “anemic galaxy,” a galaxy that contains only quite small quantities of the raw materials needed to produce stars. This means that star formation is quelled in NGC 4689, and the pinwheeling, bustling arms are less bright than those belonging to other spiral galaxies. Despite this subtlety when compared to its brash, spotlight-stealing relatives, NGC 4689 retains an otherworldly charm, its delicately glowing material standing out subtly from the surrounding darkness of space. For more information, follow the link in our bio. Text credit: ESA (European Space Agency ) Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA #NASA #Hubble #space #science #astronomy #universe #telescope #cosmos #galaxy #spiral #Friday

last month

Like a desperado in the Wild West, the broad "brim" of the Sombrero galaxy's disk may conceal a turbulent past. The Sombrero (M104 ) has never been a galaxy to fit the mold. It has an intriguing mix of shapes found in disk-shaped spiral galaxies, as well as football-shaped elliptical galaxies. The story of its structure becomes stranger with new evidence from Hubble indicating the Sombrero is the result of major galaxy mergers, though its smooth disk shows no signs of recent disruption. The galaxy's faint halo offers forensic clues. It's littered with innumerable stars that are rich in heavier elements (called metals ), because they are later-generation stars. Such stars are usually only found in a galaxy's disk. They must have been tossed into the halo through mergers with mature, metal-rich galaxies in the distant past. The iconic galaxy now looks a bit more settled in its later years. It is now so isolated, there is nothing else around to feed on. This finding offers a new twist on how galaxies assemble themselves in our compulsive universe. For more information, follow the link in our bio. Credits: NASA, ESA, and R. Cohen and P. Goudfrooij (STScI ) #NASA #Hubble #space #science #astronomy #universe #telescope #cosmos #sombrero #galaxy #spiral #halo #merger

last month

#HubbleClassic The Ant Nebula (also known as Menzel 3 ) resembles the head and thorax of a garden-variety ant. It's produced by a dying Sun-like star as it sheds its outer layers of gas. For more information on Hubble, follow the link in our bio. Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA )Acknowledgment: R. Sahai (Jet Propulsion Lab ) and B. Balick (University of Washington ) #NASA #Hubble #space #science #astronomy #universe #telescope #cosmos #ant #nebula

last month

#HubbleFriday The spiral galaxy NGC 2008 sits center stage, its ghostly spiral arms spreading out toward us, in this image captured by Hubble. This galaxy is located about 425 million light-years from Earth in the constellation of Pictor. Discovered in 1834 by astronomer John Herschel, NGC 2008 is categorized as a type Sc galaxy in the Hubble sequence, a system used to describe and classify the various morphologies of galaxies. The “S” indicates that NGC 2008 is a spiral, while the “c” means it has a relatively small central bulge and more open spiral arms. Spiral galaxies with larger central bulges tend to have more tightly wrapped arms, and are classified as Sa galaxies, while those in between are classified as type Sb. Spiral galaxies are ubiquitous across the cosmos, comprising over 70% of all observed galaxies — including our own, the Milky Way. However, their ubiquity does not detract from their beauty. These grand, spiraling collections of billions of stars are among the most wondrous sights that have been captured by telescopes such as Hubble and are firmly embedded in astronomical iconography. For more information, follow the link in our bio. Text credit: ESA (European Space Agency ) Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Bellini #NASA #Hubble #space #science #astronomy #universe #telescope #cosmos #galaxy #spiral #Friday