National Geographic News
A photo of the Monkey Head Nebula.

NASA released this stunning photo of the Monkey Head Nebula to celebrate Hubble's 24th year in orbit.

PHOTOGRAPH NY NASA, ESA, AND HUBBLE HERITAGE TEAM (STScI/AURA)

Jane J. Lee

National Geographic

PUBLISHED MARCH 21, 2014

Happy birthday, Hubble. Astronomers snapped this image of the Monkey Head Nebula—released on March 17—in honor of the famous space telescope's 24 years in orbit.

The nebula, formally known as NGC 2174, resides 6,400 light-years away, within the Orion constellation. It's a region known as a stellar nursery, where clouds of gas and dust coalesce to form young stars. (Learn more about star formation.)

Cassini's Crescent

A photo of Saturn.
PHOTOGRAPH BY NASA/JPL-CALTECH/SPACE SCIENCE INSTITUTE

Saturn looms as a thin crescent in this image, released on March 17, taken by cameras on board the international Cassini spacecraft.

Part of the planet's famed rings paint the left side of the image, breaking up Saturn's profile. Cassini captured the image from 1.4 million miles (2.3 million kilometers) away, in orbit around the ringed planet. (See "Saturn's Largest Moon Would Host Really, Really Weird Life.")

Mars's New Channel

A photo of a new channel in a Martin slope.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY NASA/JPL-CALTECH/UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

Before (left) and after (right) comparison of the Terra Sirenum region on Mars reveal a new gully (arrow) carved sometime between November 2010 and May 2013. Cameras aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter took the images.

Although it looks similar to gullies on Earth that are formed by flowing water, this Martian gully is likely the result of carbon dioxide frost, or dry ice. Planetary scientists can't be sure exactly when the new channel formed, but similar occurrences tend to happen during winter on the red planet. (See "Martian 'Blueberries' Really Pieces of Meteorites?")

Burning Up

A photo of a meteor streaking through the sky over New Zealand.
PHOTOGRAPH BY MARK GEE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC YOUR SHOT

A meteor streaks through the night sky near Wellington, New Zealand, in an image submitted to Your Shot on March 16.

Mark Gee traveled 20 minutes outside the city to photograph part of the Milky Way galaxy (map), and was lucky enough to catch a falling star.

Golden Knots

A photo of a new channel in a Martin slope.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY NASA/JPL-CALTECH/UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

International Space Station astronauts snapped an intriguing view of Utah's Green River, a section known as Bowknot Bend. The meandering river (dark blue-green) has cut a canyon nearly a thousand feet (305 meters) deep over many millennia.

The image, released March 14, also caught the contrail of an airplane (white streak, lower left) as it flew over the area. (Learn about life in space on the National Geographic Channel.)

Heart and Soul

A composite photo of the heart and soul nebula.
PHOTOGRAPH BY STEVEN COATES, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC YOUR SHOT

An amateur stargazer captured this image of the Heart and Soul Nebulae from Ocala, Florida. Submitted to Your Shot on March 16, Steven Coates stitched together multiple images from several cameras to produce this composite picture.

The nebula resides within the constellation Cassiopeia, about 6,000 light-years away from Earth.

28 comments
kevin aku
kevin aku

The Hubble Space Telescope is surely one of the greatest scientific successes in history and it's still producing incredible results a quarter of a century after launch. Full credit to those who designed Hubble and those who keep it functioning today Togel Online Klik 4D .

Clement Wigfall
Clement Wigfall

We are only a speck of dust in this vast ocean of infinity.

Paul Levesque
Paul Levesque

Just imagine what we can't see out there… 


Theresa Willis
Theresa Willis

Wow. Thank you Hubble, for such amazing views of the universe 

ikhlaq khan
ikhlaq khan

This is wonderful creation of Almighty GOD.

Armand Blenker
Armand Blenker

I have believed for a long time that if life on Earth was a freak accident; that the Universe is so vast that the freak accident would occur many times.


Is not The Milky Way Considered the main Neighborhood  and Earth is so distant  as to be in the far far country?

Armand Blenker
Armand Blenker

Congrats on Hubble's birthday.

Is Earth considered Hucky Pudle in distance from Milkyway?

I am still convinced that something good is in orbit around the Sun while we are

this side and pictures are taken on the other side of the Sun, to complete the total

Pictures of both sides of the Sun.

TCP IP
TCP IP

The falling star photo with the backdrop of the Milky Way....Amazing!

Ahgi Garjai
Ahgi Garjai

as compare to the cosmic, human can only do a little...

Teresa G
Teresa G

So beautiful! Thank you! :) :)


Andrew Booth
Andrew Booth

These photos are always awe-inspiring. 

The Hubble Space Telescope is surely one of the greatest scientific successes in history and it's still producing incredible results a quarter of a century after launch. Full credit to those who designed Hubble and those who keep it functioning today. The planetary orbiters and their creators and operators deserve similar credit.   

Nathan S.
Nathan S.

These are great photos, awe-inspiring.

Marshall Mitchell
Marshall Mitchell

Makes one wonder what's really out there and why are we here?

diana stone
diana stone

amazingly beautiful and awe-inspiring !!

Ty Camby
Ty Camby

@Chrissy Coffman 


yes. they are indeed: Mesmerizing!

Chrissy C.
Chrissy C.

I could look at space pictures all day long!  They are absolutely mesmerizing! 

bernars curtin
bernars curtin

@ikhlaq khan

works and looks fine without your personal boogeyman.  your superstitions have nothing to do with the beauty and physics of cosmology.

Share

Feed the World

See blogs, stories, photos, and news »

Latest From Nat Geo

See more photos »