Browse overview |

Hubble Telescope

Launched into orbit in 1990, NASA's Hubble Telescope has revolutionized astronomy and inspired a generation with its magnificent views of the universe. To celebrate Hubble's 20th Birthday, we've teamed up with our friends at the Space Telescope Science Institute to share our 20 favorite Hubble images. Browse the images below, watch this tour video, or download our new Hubble tour in Google Earth and fly to these locations in space!

Pillars in the Carina Nebula

Hubble’s 20th anniversary image of a three-light-year-tall mountain of gas and dust shows gas jets, fired by infant stars within the pillar. Learn more

Credits: NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)

Globular Star Cluster Messier 80

Globular cluster M80, home to hundreds of thousands of stars held together by gravity, is one of the densest clusters in the Milky Way. Learn more

Credits: The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI/NASA)

Star Cluster NGC 602

Newly formed stars carve a cavity in the center of a star-forming region of the Small Magellanic Cloud. Learn more

Credits: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) – ESA/Hubble Collaboration

Pillars in the Eagle Nebula

Pillars of gas in the Eagle Nebula are sculpted by stellar winds and radiation. Embryonic stars form inside the pillars. Learn more

Credits: NASA, ESA, STScI, J. Hester and P. Scowen (Arizona State University)

Orion Nebula

Inside a cavern of roiling dust and gas, thousands of stars are forming. More than 3,000 stars of various sizes appear in this image of the Orion Nebula. Learn more

Credits: NASA, ESA, M. Robberto (Space Telescope Science Institute/ESA), and the Hubble Space Telescope Orion Treasury Project Team

The Butterfly Nebula NGC 6302

Gas heated to more than 36,000 degrees Fahrenheit tears across space at more than 600,000 miles an hour to form the butterfly-shaped nebula. Learn more

Credits: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team

Star Eta Carinae

Eta Carinae briefly became one of the brightest stars in the southern sky 150 years ago due to the explosive outburst that produced its dusty polar lobes. Learn more

Credits: Jon Morse (University of Colorado) and NASA

Crab Nebula

The Crab Nebula is the remains of a star that died in a supernova so brilliant it was recorded by observers in the year 1054. A neutron star pulses in its center. Learn more

Credits: NASA, ESA, J. Hester, and A. Loll (Arizona State University)

Spiral Galaxy Messier 51

This image of the spiral galaxy M51, also known as “The Whirlpool Galaxy,” reveals long lanes of stars and gas laced with dust. Learn more

Credits: NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI), and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Sombrero Galaxy

The Sombrero Galaxy, home to a supermassive black hole and a rich system of nearly 2,000 globular clusters, is seen nearly edge-on from Earth’s perspective. Learn more

Credits: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Core of Galaxy M87

A jet of hot gas streams from the center of the giant elliptical galaxy M87, signaling the presence of a supermassive black hole 2.6 billion times the mass of the Sun. Learn more

Credits: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Interacting Galaxies “The Mice”

Streamers of stars and gas emanate from two colliding galaxies known as “The Mice,” which will merge into one galaxy in about 500 million years. Learn more

Credits: NASA, H. Ford (JHU), G. Illingworth (UCSC/LO), M. Clampin (STScI), G. Hartig (STScI), the ACS Science Team, and ESA

Galaxy Group Stephan’s Quintet

Galaxies are poised in a cosmic dance in galaxy group Stephan’s Quintet. Four of the galaxies tug at each other gravitationally. Learn more

Credits: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team

Galaxy Cluster Abell 2218

The mass of galaxy cluster Abell 2218 distorts and magnifies the light of galaxies beyond it, allowing us to see distant galaxies in the universe. Learn more

Credits: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team

Hubble Ultra Deep Field

This view of nearly 10,000 galaxies captures the faintest visible-light details of the universe ever seen. It reveals billions of light years of galactic history. Learn more

Credits: NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI), and the HUDF Team

Ring Nebula

Hubble stares down a barrel of gas cast off by a dying star. The Ring Nebula, floating some 2,000 light years from Earth, has a white dwarf star at its center. Learn more

Credits: The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI/NASA)

Cat’s Eye Nebula

Eleven concentric shells of gas surround the dying star of the Cat’s Eye Nebula, one of the most complex planetary nebulae ever discovered. Learn more

Credits: NASA, ESA, HEIC, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Variable Star V838 Monocerotis

Light moves outwards from a stellar outburst, illuminating vast regions of usually invisible dust and gas. Learn more

Credits: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI)

Carina Nebula

A 50-light-year-wide view of the Carina Nebula shows a maelstrom of star birth and death. Learn more

Credits: NASA, ESA, N. Smith (University of California, Berkeley), The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), and NOAO/NSF

Barred Spiral NGC 1300

Galaxy NGC 1300 exhibits a long, central bar shape that connects its spiral arms. Our own Milky Way is known to be a barred spiral galaxy. Learn more

Credits: NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Send a message to Hubble

Be a part of ongoing history. You can send a message to Hubble to celebrate its 20th anniversary, which will be incorporated into a time capsule. Learn more