Planetary nebula NGC 6302, commonly known as the Bug Nebula or Butterfly Nebula. NGC 6302 lies within the Milky Way, roughly 3,800 light-years from Earth in the constellation Scorpius. The glowing gas is the star’s outer layers, expelled over about 2,200 years.
Each of these Hubble images is a composite of separate monochromatic exposures of narrow wavelength ranges. The colors result from assigning different hues to each wavelength range. NASA released these images on September 9, 2009, to show off the capabilities of the Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), which astronauts installed during a servicing mission last May.
A piller of gas and dust within the Carina Nebula, 7,500 light-years from Earth in the southern constellation Carina. The 3-light-year-long pillar is seen bathed in the glow of light from hot, massive stars off the top of the image. Radiation and streams of charged particles from these stars are sculpting the pillar and causing new stars to form within it. The image is a composite of separate exposures made July 24 to 30, 2009. The color results from assigning different colors to each monochromatic image.
A small region inside the massive globular cluster Omega Centauri, which boasts nearly 10 million stars. The stars in Omega Centauri are between 10 billion and 12 billion years old. The cluster lies about 16,000 light-years from Earth. The image is a composite of separate exposures made July 15. Three filters were used to sample broad wavelength ranges. The color results from assigning different hues to each monochromatic image.
Stephan’s Quintet, also known as Hickson Compact Group 92, a famous group of five galaxies first observed by Edouard M. Stephan in 1877. Though the galaxies appear near each other, the one at the at upper left, NGC 7320, is actually about seven times closer to Earth than the rest of the group.
Details of galaxy cluster Abell 370, 5 billion light-years away. Abell 370 is one of the first galaxy clusters where astronomers observed the phenomenon of gravitational lensing, where the warping of space by the cluster’s gravitational field distorts the light from galaxies lying far behind it. This is seen as arcs and streaks in the picture, which are the stretched images of background galaxies.