Electronic versions of our press release images are available free of charge via our Web sites. These images may be used in accordance with the restrictions outlined in our copyright notice, which can be reviewed at http://hubblesite.org/copyright/.
Hubblesite's Gallery section offers a feature called "Astronomy Printshop," which provides images and instructions on how to easily print them out at a photo store, photo kiosk, or online photolab. You can also use your home printer.
Many vendors offer Hubble images and related products for sale. Hubble images and products are widely available wherever you can find space-related products, such as your local science center or planetarium. We do not directly sell Hubble images or products, and we are restricted from recommending or listing vendors that do.
Many of the images taken by Hubble are never formally released to the public and are typically only of interest to the scientific community. Full access to these data, which can be processed into viewable images, is available online via the Hubble Data Archive at http://archive.stsci.edu. The archive's mission is to serve the scientific community. It may not be useful to or easily operated by the general user.
Hubble images and materials created, authored, and/or prepared by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy and the Space Telescope Science Institute (AURA/STScI) are copyrighted in content, presentation, and intellectual, creative origin. This includes images hosted on our Web servers.
Detailed information about AURA/STScI copyright can be found at our Web site: http://hubblesite.org/copyright/.
Individuals wanting to download Hubble images for personal use (computer screen wallpaper, printing, use in a personal Web page) may do so without further permission from AURA/STScI.
Below is an excerpt from the STScI copyright page that covers most other uses.
Organizations or individuals seeking permission to reproduce products or technologies (referred to as "materials" herein) should contact STScI directly, while taking into account the following guidelines.
Non-commercial use: For all its copyrighted materials, STScI allows reproduction, authorship of derivative works, and other transformations of the original work strictly for educational and research purposes without further permission, and subject to the General Conditions stated above. For other non-commercial uses, permission should be obtained from AURA/STScI.
Commercial use: For copyrighted materials (images, text, multimedia products, graphical material, animation and digital video), permission should be obtained from the copyright owner, AURA/STScI, prior to use. STScI will work with vendors on a case by case basis, subject to STScI's "License and/or Rights for Use of STScI Products and Technologies", to establish appropriate permissions for use, which in some cases may involve a royalty agreement. If a recognizable person appears in an image, use for commercial purposes may infringe a right of privacy or publicity and permission should be obtained from the recognizable person.
There are no "natural color" cameras aboard the Hubble and never have been. The optical cameras on board have all been digital CCD cameras, which take images as grayscale pixels.
Sometimes the color is as natural as possible. However, the color given to the images is not just "artistic embellishment." The images are, indeed, downloaded as black and white, and color is added for a number of different reasons – for example, to show the dispersion detail of chemical elements and highlight features so subdued that the human eye cannot see them.
For more information, read The Meaning of Color on HubbleSite, which explains in detail how color is added to images.
The strange, stair-shaped images come from the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2, or WFPC2. WFPC2 consists of four cameras, each of which takes a picture of a section of the target. It's like taking four pictures of a single scene, then putting them together to create the whole picture.
But one of WFPC2's cameras takes a magnified view of the section it's observing, to allow us to study that section in finer detail. When the images are processed, that magnified section is shrunk down to the same size as the other sections, so that it fits into the image.
For a more thorough explanation for the stair-stepped shape of the Hubble photos, visit our Web site.
Read Hubble's Wacky Window on HubbleSite.
HubbleSite and STScI are not responsible for content found outside of hubblesite.org and stsci.edu