about these and other celestial
wonders along Milky's way out!
Frosty white water-ice clouds and swirling orange dust storms above a vivid rusty landscape reveal Mars as a dynamic planet. In this Hubble snapshot, Mars is kicking up plenty of dust. One large storm, for example, is churning high above the northern polar cap (top of image). More >>
What if storms on Earth lasted more than 70 years? Well, they do on Jupiter. This photo reveals a cluster of three white oval-shaped storms that lie southwest (at the bottom of the planet) of Jupiter's Great Red Spot (dark oval-shaped object near the planet's right edge). Two of these storms formed in the late 1930s, and they're still creating havoc on the planet. More >>
In this snapshot, Saturn looms like a giant flying saucer in our outer solar system. The planet consists mostly of gas. Its thin rings, only about 30 feet (10 meters) thick, are made of dusty water and range in size from boulders to small chunks. More >>
This photo shows the colorful end in the life of an ordinary star. Although the star, dubbed the "Cat's Eye Nebula," is on its way out, it is generating all sorts of mayhem. Jets of high-speed gas. Collisions between gases. These stellar "last gasps" are creating the glowing death shroud surrounding the star. More >>
Undersea coral? Enchanted castles? Space serpents? These eerie, dark pillar-like structures are actually columns of cool hydrogen gas and dust that are incubators for new stars. The pillars of material have a not-so-eerie name, the Eagle Nebula. Searing radiation from nearby hot stars is helping the newborn stars bust out of their stellar nurseries. More >>
What happens when a star about 100 times heftier than our Sun erupts? In the case of Eta Carinae, it becomes one of the brightest stars in the southern sky. The outburst occurred about 150 years ago, producing the bloated pair of gas and dust clouds. The star survived the outburst. But it may not survive another one. More >>
This stellar colony, called M80, consists of hundreds of thousands of stars, all held together by their mutual gravitational attraction. M80 is one of the densest globular star clusters in the Milky Way. More >>
What is beyond our Milky Way? Galaxies like NGC 1512 (see top left galaxy in game's final screen). This barred spiral galaxy is 30 million light-years from Earth, which is a long way for a cow to travel. The galaxy's core is unique for its stunning 2,400 light-year-wide circle of infant star clusters. Spanning 70,000 light-years, NGC 1512 is nearly as large as our own Milky Way. More >>
The Hubble Space Telescope has brought the universe into view with far greater clarity than ever before. Since its launch in 1990 aboard the space shuttle Discovery, Hubble has confirmed the existence of black holes, refined our knowledge of the age and size of the universe, and stared back to nearly the dawn of time, revealing a jumble of primordial galaxies.