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UNVEILING OUR UNIVERSE
A Decade of Discovery
All About Hubble
Opening New Heavenly Vistas

INVASION OF JUPITER

JupiterIn the solar system, the observatory witnessed an invasion of Jupiter in 1994 as pieces of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 plunged into the planet's atmosphere and exploded. The telescope's sharp "eyes" provided exquisite details on the plumes of debris kicked up by the explosions and for several days followed the expansion of the impact sites. This collision is a once-in-a-millenium occurrence.

LIFE CYCLE OF STARS

Great Orion Nebula Moving from planets to stars, the telescope documented in colorful detail the births and deaths of these bright celestial objects. It provided visual proof that pancake-shaped dust disks around young stars are common, suggesting that the raw materials for planet formation are in place. The orbiting telescope showed for the first time that jets of material rising from embryonic stars emanate from the centers of disks of dust and gas, thus turning what was previously merely theory into an observed reality.

DYING IN STYLE

Twin Jet Nebula (M2-9)Hubble delivered many stunning pictures of stellar deaths, such as the glowing shrouds surrounding Sun-like stars (called planetary nebulae), the mysterious rings of material around the exploding, massive star called Supernova 1987A, and the twin lobes of matter billowing from Eta Carinae. Ground-based images suggested that many of these objects had simple shapes, but Hubble revealed that their shapes are more complex.

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