Pink pockets of star formation glow like roses in a briar patch in a new Hubble Space Telescope picture of the elliptical galaxy Centaurus A.
Released Thursday, the image shows dark tendrils of dust weaving through the galactic disk. Hubble's view combines ultraviolet through near-infrared wavelengths to show how the dense lanes are dotted with young, blue star clusters normally hidden by dust.
Image courtesy NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration
Seen in a newly released infrared picture, the nebula is a bubble of gas and dust being sculpted by powerful radiation from a very massive central star. Although it's barely a twinkle in infrared, the normally bright, bluish star is emitting rays so strong that they're stripping electrons from surrounding hydrogen atoms, causing the charged gas inside the ring to glow red.
This new, highly detailed portrait of the globular star cluster Omega Centauri is among the first images released by the European Southern Observatory's VLT Survey Telescope, or VST.
A new addition to ESO's Paranal Observatory in Chile, the VST is a 2.6-meter telescope with a huge 268-megapixel camera at its heart. The telescope's extremely wide field of view encompasses even the faint outer regions of the star cluster, allowing astronomers to see about 300,000 stars in one frame.
Image courtesy ESO/INAF-VST
A new picture from the Hubble Space Telescope shows a supernova finally giving up its youthful look. First seen from Earth in February 1987, the stellar explosion is now undergoing visible changes that signal it's evolving into a supernova remnant.
The brilliant blast came from the Large Magellanic Cloud, a neighboring galaxy of our own Milky Way. Dubbed SN 1987A, it was the closest supernova witnessed in almost 400 years. Although light from the object had been fading over time, new observations show that the ring of debris is brightening, which astronomers take as a sign that the supernova is moving into a new phase of existence.
Image courtesy ESA/NASA
A dense streamer of ash looms over Chile and Argentina in a NASA satellite picture of the erupting Puyehue volcano (map) released June 14.
The volcano roared to life June 4, forcing thousands to evacuate and grounding flights across several South American countries. The expanding ash cloud eventually got lofted by high-level winds, which carried ash particles as far away as Australia, disrupting air traffic.
A new mosaic of images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows the path (yellow) of the Mars rover Opportunity since it landed on the red planet in 2004. The rover is headed for the 14-mile-wide (22-kilometer-wide) impact basin dubbed Endeavour Crater, about 2.2 miles (3.5 kilometers) from its landing site.
In honor of Opportunity's sister rover, Spirit—which was officially pronounced dead to science in May—the rover team has chosen "Spirit Point" as the informal name for the site where Opportunity should reach Endeavour's rim.