Not only strange…

The Hubble Telescope has been sending us photographs from almost as far away as it is possible to go.  Space and what’s out there is not only “deeply strange,” but also almost “impossibly beautiful.”

If you haven’t seen them already, here are a few worth marvelling at.  In fact, they are marvellous even if you’ve seen them a dozen times already.

Hubble telescope’s top ten greatest space photographs

The Sombrero Galaxy – 28 million light years from Earth – was voted best picture taken by the Hubble telescope. The dimensions of the galaxy, officially called M104, are as spectacular as its appearance. It has 800 billion suns and is 50,000 light years across.

The Ant Nebula, a cloud of dust and gas whose technical name is Mz3, resembles an ant when observed using ground-based telescopes. The nebula lies within our galaxy between 3,000 and 6,000 light years from Earth.

In third place is Nebula NGC 2392, called Eskimo because it looks like a face surrounded by a furry hood. The hood is, in fact, a ring of comet-shaped objects flying away from a dying star. Eskimo is 5,000 light years from Earth.

At four is the Cat’s Eye Nebula

The Hourglass Nebula, 8,000 light years away, has a pinched-in-the-middle look because the winds that shape it are weaker at the centre.

In sixth place is the Cone Nebula. The part pictured here is 2.5 light years in length (the equivalent of 23 million return trips to the Moon)

The Perfect Storm, a small region in the Swan Nebula, 5,500 light years away, described as ‘a bubbly ocean of hydrogen and small amounts of oxygen, sulphur and other elements’.

Starry Night, so named because it reminded astronomers of the Van Gogh painting. It is a halo of light around a star in the Milky Way.

The glowering eyes from 114 million light years away are the swirling cores of two merging galaxies called NGC 2207 and IC 2163 in the distant Canis Major constellation.

The Trifid Nebula. A ’stellar nursery’, 9,000 light years from here, it is where new stars are being born.

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About Terry Sissons

Terry Sissons is the author of The Big Bang to Now: All of Time in Six Chunks, and this blog is a dialogue about the universe and what’s happened in the last 13 billions years.
This entry was posted in beyond earth, something new about something old and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Not only strange…

  1. Malice says:

    These are amazing, thanks for sharing 🙂
    Mal

  2. ransom33 says:

    How awesome that you should write a post about this when I did exactly the same only a few days ago.

    If you want to check mine, go to http://www.ransom33.wordpress.com

    Blessings,

    ransom33

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