November 4, 2015 2:20 PM EST At the same time our solar system has been busy culling its planet herd (goodbye, Pluto) the rest of the solar system has been busy adding them—or at least we’ve been busy discovering them. Though it had always been anthropocentric in the extreme to assume that in a galaxy filled with 300 billion stars and a universe with perhaps 100 billion galaxies, ours was the only solar system extant. It wasn’t until 1995, however, that astronomers discovered the first so-called exoplanet—Pegasi 51b, more than 50 light years from Earth.
Since then, nearly 2,000 confirmed exoplanets have been discovered—most by the Kepler Space Telescope—and thousands more candidate planets await confirmation. Below are just 500 of them depicted on a sort of periodic table of the planets, by Slovak
graphic designer Martin Vargic. Best known for his celebrated map of the Internet, Vargic has produced dozens of other maps and graphics, including a timeline of the universe, and imagined images of an Earthly horizon if our planet orbited other known stars. Martin Vargic
Vargic arranged his marble bag of exoplanets on a scale according to density, temperature, metal content and more. The appearance of all of the planets is inferred from those characteristics and others, since exoplanets are not detected by direct visualization. Instead they make themselves known by the way they cause their parent stars wobble as they tug on them gravitationally, and flicker as they pass in front of them on their orbits.
As for the rings on some of the planets? “The rings were added for an aesthetic purpose,” Vargic said in an e-mail to TIME. “However, as all four gas planets in [our] solar system have at least a small ring system, they should be expected to be common in the universe. I added them to make the visualizations look more realistic.”
No matter how accurate the depictions are, the 500 planets are very much out there—as untold billions more likely are. Our lonely solar system, it increasingly seems, has more company than we ever suspected.
See the 50 Best Photos Taken by Hubble Pillars of Creation: Originally taken on April 1, 1995, this image has become one of the most iconic to come from the Hubble Telescope. This version, released in 2015, shows a higher resolution image of the region. The pillars are part of a small region of the Eagle Nebula, a vast star-forming region 6,500 light-years from Earth.
Image released in Jan. 2015 NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) Cat's Eye Nebula:
One of the first planetary nebulae discovered, the Cat's Eye Nebula also has one of the most complex forms known to this kind of nebula. Eleven rings, or shells, of gas make up the Cat's Eye.
Image released on Sept. 9, 2004 NASA/ESA/HEIC/The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) Horsehead Nebula:
Since its launch in April 1990, Hubble has observed and imaged the Horsehead Nebula many times. This new image, released in 2013, shows part of the sky in the constellation of Orion (The Hunter). The nebula, otherwise known as Barnard 33 is shown in infrared light, which has longer wavelengths than visible light and can pierce through the dusty material that usually obscures the nebula’s inner regions.
Image released on April 19, 2013 NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) Galaxy M106:
Renowned astrophotographer Robert Gendler took science data from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) archive and combined it with his own ground-based observations to assemble this photo illustration of the magnificent spiral galaxy M106. Also known as NGC 4258, M106 lies 23.5 million light-years away, in the constellation Canes Venatici.
Image released on Feb. 5, 2013 NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)/R. Gendler (for the Hubble Heritage Team) The Crab Nebula :
A six-light-year-wide expanding remnant of a star's supernova explosion. This composite image was assembled from 24 individual exposures taken with the NASA Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field. It is one of the largest images taken by Hubble and is the highest resolution image ever made of the entire Crab Nebula.
Image released on Dec. 1, 2005 NASA/ESA/J. Hester and A. Loll (Arizona State University) The Orion Nebula:
In one of the most detailed astronomical images ever produced, Hubble offers a look at a tumultuous region of dust and gas where thousands of stars are being born. Located 1,300 light-years away, the Orion Nebula is the nearest area of star formation to Earth. More than 3,000 stars of various sizes appear in this image. Astronomers used 520 Hubble images, taken in five colors with Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys, to make this picture.
Image released on Jan. 11, 2006 NASA/ESA/M. Robberto (Space Telescope Science Institute/ESA)/Hubble Space Telescope Orion Treasury Project Team The Hourglass Nebula:
The nebula, also known as MyCn18, is a young planetary nebula located about 8,000 light-years away. The image shed new light on the poorly understood ejection of stellar matter which accompanies the slow death of Sun-like stars.
Image released on Jan. 16, 1996 Raghvendra Sahai and John Trauger (JPL)/WFPC2 science team/NASA/ESA The Butterfly Nebula:
With a wingspan of over 3 light-years and an estimated surface temperature of about 250,000 degrees C, the dying central star of this planetary nebula has become exceptionally hot, shining brightly in ultraviolet light but hidden from direct view by a dense torus of dust. Also known as NGC 6302, the nebula lies about 4,000 light-years away in the constellation of the Scorpion (Scorpius).
Image released on Sept. 9, 2009 NASA/ESA/Hubble SM4 ERO Team Monkey Head Nebula:
Also known as NGC 2174, the nebula lies about 6400 light-years away in the constellation of Orion (The Hunter). Hubble previously viewed this part of the sky back in 2011 — the colorful region is filled with young stars embedded within bright wisps of cosmic gas and dust. This portion of the Monkey Head Nebula was imaged in infrared using Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3.
Image released on March 17, 2014 NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) Andromeda: This is the largest and sharpest image ever taken of the Andromeda galaxy. It is the biggest Hubble image ever released and shows over 100 million stars and thousands of star clusters embedded in a section of the galaxy’s pancake-shaped disc stretching across over 40,000 light-years. Image released on Jan. 5, 2015 NASA/ESA/J. Dalcanton (University of Washington, USA)/B. F. Williams (University of Washington, USA)/L. C. Johnson (University of Washington, USA)/the PHAT team/R. Gendler Jupiter's Eye:
The black spot which simulates a giant eye on the surface of Jupiter was actually just a well-timed shadow, captured by one of Hubble’s cameras as Jupiter’s moon Ganymede passed by the planet's famed Great Red Spot.
Image released in Oct. 2014 NASA/ESA/A. Simon (Goddard Space Flight Center) The Sombrero Galaxy:
Also known as Messier 104 (M104), the galaxy's hallmark is a brilliant white, bulbous core encircled by the thick dust lanes comprising the spiral structure of the galaxy. The Sombrero lies at the southern edge of the rich Virgo cluster of galaxies and is one of the most massive objects in that group, equivalent to 800 billion suns. The galaxy is 50,000 light-years across and is located 28 million light-years from Earth. Image released on Oct. 2, 2004 NASA/The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) Interacting Galaxies Arp 273:
A pair of interacting galaxies called Arp 273. The distorted shape of the larger of the two galaxies shows signs of tidal interactions with the smaller of the two. It is thought that the smaller galaxy has actually passed through the larger one.
Image released on April 20, 2011 NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1300:
This is one of the largest Hubble Space Telescope images ever made of a complete galaxy. NGC 1300 is considered to be prototypical of barred spiral galaxies, which differ from normal spiral galaxies in that the arms do not spiral all the way into the center, but are connected to the two ends of a straight bar of stars containing the nucleus at its center.
Image released on Jan. 10, 2005 NASA/ESA/The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
The Ring Nebula:
This image is one of the most detailed observations ever of the Ring Nebula, also known as Messier 57. It reveals intricate structure only hinted at in previous observations, and has allowed scientists to construct a model of the nebula in 3D — showing the true shape of this striking object.
Image released on May 23, 2013 NASA/ESA/C.R. O'Dell (Vanderbilt University), and D. Thompson (Large Binocular Telescope Observatory)
This image captures the chaotic activity atop a three-light-year-tall pillar of gas and dust that is being eaten away by the brilliant light from nearby bright stars. The pillar is also being assaulted from within, as infant stars buried inside it fire off jets of gas that can be seen streaming from towering peaks. This turbulent cosmic pinnacle lies within the Carina Nebula, located 7,500 light-years away in the southern constellation Carina.
Image released on April 22, 2010 NASA/ESA/M. Livio/Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI) Saturn:
In this photo, Hubble captured the four moons of Saturn passing in front of their parent planet. The giant orange moon Titan casts a large shadow onto Saturn's north polar hood. Below Titan, near the ring plane and to the left is the moon Mimas, casting a much smaller shadow onto Saturn's equatorial cloud tops. Farther to the left, and off Saturn's disk, are the bright moon Dione and the fainter moon Enceladus.
Image released on March 17, 2009 NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) V838 Monocerotis:
This is Hubble's latest view of an expanding halo of light around a distant star, named V838 Monocerotis (V838 Mon) which is about 20,000 light-years away from Earth, placing the star at the outer edge of our Milky Way galaxy. The illumination of interstellar dust comes from the red supergiant star at the middle of the image.
Image released on March 4, 2004 NASA/Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) Spiral Galaxy NGC 2841:
A bright white light at the middle of the spiral galaxy marks the galaxy's center. Spiraling outward are dust lanes that are silhouetted against the population of whitish middle-aged stars. Much younger blue stars trace the spiral arms. NGC 2841 lies 46 million light-years away in the constellation of Ursa Major (The Great Bear).
Image released on Feb. 17, 2010 NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA) Planetary Nebula NGC 5189:
The nebula is located 1,800 light-years away in the southern constellation Musca. Hubble’s image is the most detailed yet made of this object. Its double bipolar or quadrupolar structure could be explained by the presence of a second star orbiting the central star and influencing the pattern of mass ejection.
Image released on Dec. 18, 2012 NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) Carina Nebula:
This is one of the largest panoramic images ever taken with Hubble's cameras. It is a 50-light-year-wide view of the central region of the Carina Nebula where a maelstrom of star birth - and death - takes place. The immense nebula contains at least a dozen brilliant stars that are roughly estimated to be at least 50 to 100 times the mass of our Sun.
Image released on April 24, 2007 NASA/ESA, N. Smith (University of California, Berkeley)/Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) The Most Colorful View of the Universe:
Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope assembled a comprehensive picture of the evolving universe among the most colorful deep space images ever captured by the telescope. The image is a composite of separate exposures taken in 2002 to 2012 with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys and Wide Field Camera 3. The resulting image - made from 841 orbits of telescope viewing time - contains approximately 10,000 galaxies, extending back in time to within a few hundred million years of the big bang.
Image released on June 3, 2014 NASA/ESA Centaurus A:
Also known as NGC 5128, Centaurus A is well known for its dramatic dusty lanes of dark material. Hubble’s new observations, using its most advanced instrument, the Wide Field Camera 3, are the most detailed ever made of this galaxy. They have been combined here in a multi-wavelength image which reveals never-before-seen detail in the dusty portion of the galaxy.
Image released on June 16, 2011 NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration M100:
This image of the spiral galaxy M100 was obtained with the second generation Wide Field and Planetary Camera (WFPC-2. Though the galaxy lies several tens of millions of light-years away, modified optics incorporated within the WFPC-2 allow Hubble to view M100 with a level of clarity and sensitivity previously possible only for the very few nearby galaxies that compose our "Local Group." Astronomers must study many galaxies in a host of different environments to understand how our own galaxy, our star, and our earth came to be.
Image released in 1994 NASA/ESA/A. Riess (STScI/JHU)/L. Macri (Texas A&M University)/Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) SNR 0509:
A delicate sphere of gas floats in the depths of space. The pristine shell, or bubble, is the result of gas that is being shocked by the expanding blast wave from a supernova. Called SNR 0509-67.5 (or SNR 0509 for short), the bubble is the visible remnant of a powerful stellar explosion in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a small galaxy about 160,000 light-years from Earth.
Image released on Dec. 14, 2010 NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
Nicknamed the Southern Pinwheel, M83 is undergoing more rapid star formation than our own Milky Way galaxy, especially in its nucleus. The sharp "eye" of the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) has captured hundreds of young star clusters, ancient swarms of globular star clusters, and hundreds of thousands of individual stars, mostly blue supergiants and red supergiants.
Image released on Nov. 5, 2009 NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) Colorful Stars Inside Globular Star Cluster Omega Centauri:
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope snapped this panoramic view of a colorful assortment of 100,000 stars in the core of a giant star cluster.
The image reveals a small region inside the massive globular cluster Omega Centauri, which holds 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 majority of the stars in the image are yellow-white, like our Sun. These are adult stars that are shining by hydrogen fusion. Toward the end of their normal lives, the stars become cooler and larger. These late-life stars are the orange dots in the image.
Even later in their life cycles, the stars continue to cool down and expand in size, becoming red giants. These bright red stars swell to many times larger than our Sun's size and begin to shed their gaseous envelopes.
After ejecting most of their mass and exhausting much of their hydrogen fuel, the stars appear brilliant blue. Only a thin layer of material covers their super-hot cores. These stars are desperately trying to extend their lives by fusing helium in their cores. At this stage, they emit much of their light at ultraviolet wavelengths.
When the helium runs out, the stars reach the end of their lives. Only their burned-out cores remain, and they are called white dwarfs (the faint blue dots in the image).
Image released on Oct. 26, 2010. NASA/ESA/and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team
NGC 3603 is a cluster of huge, hot stars located 20,000 light-years away in the constellation Carina.
Ultraviolet radiation and violent stellar winds have blown out an enormous cavity in the gas and dust enveloping the cluster, providing an unobstructed view of the cluster. NGC 3603 also contains some of the most massive stars known. Star clusters like NGC 3603 provide important clues to understanding the origin of massive star formation in the early, distant universe.
Image released on July 6, 2010 NASA/ESA/R. O'Connell (University of Virginia)/F. Paresce (National Institute for Astrophysics, Bologna, Italy)/E. Young (Universities Space Research Association/Ames Research Center)/WFC3 Science Oversight Committee/Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) NGC 602:
This image depicts bright, blue, newly formed stars that are blowing a cavity in the center of a star-forming region in the Small Magellanic Cloud. At the heart of the star-forming region, lies star cluster NGC 602. The high-energy radiation blazing out from the hot young stars is sculpting the inner edge of the outer portions of the nebula, slowly eroding it away and eating into the material beyond. The Small Magellanic Cloud, in the constellation Tucana, is roughly 200,000 light-years from the Earth. Its proximity to us makes it an exceptional laboratory to perform in-depth studies of star formation processes and their evolution in an environment slightly different from our own Milky Way.
Image released on Jan. 8, 2007 NASA/ESA/CXC and the University of Potsdam/JPL-Caltech/STScI Sharpless 2-106:
This nebula, also known as Sh2-106 or S106 for short, lies nearly 2,000 light-years from us. It measures several light-years in length and appears in a relatively isolated region of the Milky Way galaxy. Twin lobes of super-hot gas, glowing blue in this image, stretch outward from the central star. This hot gas creates the "wings" of our angel. A ring of dust and gas orbiting the star acts like a belt, cinching the expanding nebula into an "hourglass" shape.
Image released on Dec. 15, 2011 NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) NGC 1999:
NGC 1999 is an example of a reflection nebula. A reflection nebula shines only because the light from an embedded source illuminates its dust; the nebula does not emit any visible light of its own. NGC 1999 lies close to the Orion Nebula, about 1,500 light-years from Earth, in a region of our Milky Way galaxy where new stars are being formed actively.
Image released on March 2, 2000 NASA/Hubble Heritage Team (STScI) Pluto:
This image is part of the most detailed set of images ever taken of the distant dwarf planet Pluto. The Hubble images were sharpest view of Pluto until NASA's New Horizons released a new image this year and were invaluable for picking out the planet's most interesting-looking hemisphere for New Horizons to swoop over when it flies by Pluto in 2015.
Though Pluto is arguably one of the public's favorite planetary objects, it is also the hardest of which to get a detailed portrait because the world is small and very far away. Image released on Feb. 4, 2010. NASA/ESA/M. Buie (Southwest Research Institute) Comet Ison:
Hubble captured this image of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) on April 10, when the comet was at a distance of 386 million miles from the Sun (and 394 million miles from Earth). Preliminary measurements from the Hubble images suggest that the nucleus of ISON is no larger than three or four miles across. The comet's dusty coma, or head of the comet, is approximately 3,100 miles across, or 1.2 times the width of Australia. A dust tail extends more than 57,000 miles, far beyond Hubble's field of view.
Image released on April 23, 2013. NASA/ESA/J.-Y. Li (Planetary Science Institute)/Hubble Comet ISON Imaging Science Team Pismis 24:
The small open star cluster Pismis 24 lies in the core of the large emission nebula NGC 6357 in Scorpius, about 8,000 light-years away from Earth. The brightest object in the picture is designated Pismis 24-1. It was once thought to weigh as much as 200 to 300 solar masses. This would not only have made it by far the most massive known star in the galaxy, but would have put it considerably above the currently believed upper mass limit of about 150 solar masses for individual stars.
However, Hubble Space Telescope high-resolution images of the star show that it is really two stars orbiting one another. They are estimated to each be 100 solar masses.
Image released on Dec. 11, 2006 NASA/ESA/J. Maíz Apellániz (Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, Spain) Nucleus of Galaxy Centaurus A:
Astronomers have obtained an unprecedented look at the nearest example of galactic cannibalism — a massive black hole hidden at the center of a nearby giant galaxy that is feeding on a smaller galaxy in a spectacular collision. Such fireworks were common in the early universe, as galaxies formed and evolved, but are rare today.
The Hubble telescope offers a stunning unprecedented close-up view of a turbulent firestorm of star birth along a nearly edge-on dust disk girdling Centaurus A, the nearest active galaxy to Earth. The picture at upper left shows the entire galaxy. The blue outline represents Hubble's field of view. The larger, central picture is Hubble's close-up view of the galaxy. Brilliant clusters of young blue stars lie along the edge of the dark dust lane. Outside the rift the sky is filled with the soft hazy glow of the galaxy's much older resident population of red giant and red dwarf stars.
Imaged released on May 14, 1998. E.J. Schreier (STScI)/NASA The Whirlpool:
The arms of the majestic spiral galaxy M51 (NGC 5194) are long lanes of stars and gas laced with dust. This sharpest-ever image illustrates a spiral galaxy's grand design, from its curving spiral arms, where young stars reside, to its yellowish central core, a home of older stars. Image released on April 25, 2005 NASA/ESA/S. Beckwith (STScI)/Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) Abell 370:
This is one of the very 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 manifested as arcs and streaks in the picture, which are the stretched images of background galaxies. Gravitational lensing proves a vital tool for astronomers when measuring the dark matter distribution in massive clusters.
Image released on Sept. 9, 2009 NASA/ESA/Hubble SM4 ERO Team/ST-ECF
Double Cluster NGC 1850:
NGC 1850 is an unusual double cluster that lies in the bar of the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of our own Milky Way.
This is a good example of the interaction between gas, dust, and stars. Millions of years ago massive stars in the main cluster exploded as supernovas, forming the spectacular filigree pattern of diffuse gas visible in the image. The nebulous gas is part of the N103 super bubble and looks similar to the well-known supernova remnant Cygnus Loop in our own Milky Way.
Image released on July 10, 2001 NASA/ESA/Martino Romaniello (European Southern Observatory, Germany) Cone Nebula:
This monstrous pillar resides in a turbulent star-forming region. This picture shows the upper 2.5 light-years of the nebula, a height that equals 23 million roundtrips to the Moon. The entire nebula is 7 light-years long. The Cone Nebula resides 2,500 light-years away in the constellation Monoceros.
Imaged released on April 30, 2002.
NASA/H. Ford (JHU)/G. Illingworth (UCSC/LO)/M.Clampin (STScI)/G. Hartig (STScI)/ACS Science Team/ESA NGC 4314:
This image reveals clusters of infant stars that formed in a ring around the core of the barred-spiral galaxy NGC 4314. This stellar nursery, whose inhabitants were created within the past 5 million years, is the only place in the entire galaxy where new stars are being born.
Image released on June 11, 1998 G. Fritz Benedict, Andrew Howell, Inger Jorgensen, David Chapell (University of Texas)/Jeffery Kenney (Yale University), and Beverly J. Smith (CASA, University of Colorado)/NASA Pleiades:
This image shows the wispy tendrils of a dark interstellar cloud being destroyed by the passage of one of the brightest stars in the Pleiades star cluster. The star is reflecting light off the surface of pitch black clouds of cold gas laced with dust. These are called reflection nebulae. Resembling a small dipper, this star cluster lies in the constellation Taurus at a distance of about 380 light-years from Earth
Image released on Dec. 6, 2000 NASA/Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
Large Magellanic Cloud:
This image shows part of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a small nearby galaxy that orbits our galaxy, the Milky Way, and appears as a blurred blob in our skies. This data in this image is part of the Archival Pure Parallel Project (APPP), a project that gathered together and processed over 1000 images taken using Hubble’s Wide Field Planetary Camera 2, obtained in parallel with other Hubble instruments.
Image released on Oct. 13, 2014 NASA/ESA 30 Doradus:
This stellar breeding ground is located in the heart of the Tarantula Nebula. 30 Doradus is the brightest star-forming region visible in a neighboring galaxy and home to the most massive stars ever seen. The nebula resides 170,000 light-years away in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small, satellite galaxy of our Milky Way. No known star-forming region in our galaxy is as large or as prolific as 30 Doradus.
The composite image comprises one of the largest mosaics ever assembled from Hubble photos.
Image released on April 17, 2012 NASA/ESA/D. Lennon and E. Sabbi (ESA/STScI)/J. Anderson, S. E. de Mink, R. van der Marel, T. Sohn, and N. Walborn (STScI)/N. Bastian (Excellence Cluster, Munich)/L. Bedin (INAF, Padua)/E. Bressert (ESO)/P. Crowther (University of Sheffield)/A. de Koter (University of Amsterdam)/C. Evans (UKATC/STFC, Edinburgh)/A. Herrero (IAC, Tenerife)/N. Langer (AifA, Bonn)/I. Platais (JHU)/H. Sana (University of Amsterdam)
This image was Hubble's first observation of Jupiter. This "true color" picture of the southeast quadrant of the planet shows a striking oval-shaped dark ring on the left and the Great Red Spot
Image released on March 11, 1991 NASA Mars:
This image is centered near the location of the Pathfinder landing site. Dark sand dunes that surround the polar cap merge into a large, dark region called Acidalia. Below and to the left of Acidalia are the massive Martian canyon systems of Valles Marineris. Early morning clouds can be seen along the left limb of the planet, and a large cyclonic storm composed of water ice is churning near the polar cap.
Image released on June 30, 1999
NASA/ESA NGC 4603:
This galaxy is the most distant in which a special class of pulsating stars called Cepheid variables have been found. It is associated with the Centaurus cluster, one of the most massive assemblages of galaxies in the nearby universe. The Local Group of galaxies, of which the Milky Way is a member, is moving in the direction of Centaurus at a speed of more than a million miles an hour under the influence of the gravitational pull of the matter in that direction.
Image released on May 25, 1999 Jeffrey Newman (Univ. of California at Berkeley)/NASA The Eskimo Nebula:
This planetary nebula, also known as NGC 2392, began forming about 10,000 years ago, when the dying star began flinging material into space. The Eskimo Nebula is about 5,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Gemini.
Image released on Jan. 11, 2000 NASA/Andrew Fruchter and the ERO Team [Sylvia Baggett (STScI), Richard Hook (ST-ECF), Zoltan Levay (STScI)] The Signature of a Supermassive Black Hole:
This colorful 'zigzag' is the signature of a supermassive black hole in the center of galaxy M84, discovered by Hubble Space Telescope's Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS). M84 is located in the Virgo Cluster of galaxies, 50 million light-years from Earth. Image released on May 12, 1997 Gary Bower, Richard Green (NOAO)/STIS Instrument Definition Team/NASA/ESA The Tadpole:
The distorted shape of this spiral galaxy, also known as UGC 10214, was caused by a small interloper, a very blue, compact galaxy visible in the upper left corner of the more massive Tadpole. The Tadpole resides about 420 million light-years away in the constellation Draco. Strong gravitational forces from the interaction created the long tail of debris, consisting of stars and gas that stretch out more than 280,000 light-years.
Image released on April 30, 2002 NASA/H. Ford (JHU)/G. Illingworth (UCSC/LO)/M.Clampin (STScI)/G. Hartig (STScI)/ACS Science Team/ESA
The Hubble Deep Field:
Mankind's deepest, most detailed optical view of the universe was assembled from 342 separate exposures taken with the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2). Essentially a narrow, deep "core sample" of sky, the HDF is analogous to a geologic core sample of the Earth's crust. Just as a terrestrial core sample is a history of events which took place as Earth's surface evolved, the HDF image contains information about the universe at many different stages in time. Image released on Jan. 15, 1996 NASA/ESA More Must-Reads From TIME Inside the White House Program to Share America's Secrets Meet the 2024 Women of the Year East Palestine, One Year After Train Derailment The Closers: 18 People Working to End the Racial Wealth Gap Long COVID Doesn’t Always Look Like You Think It Does Column: The New Antisemitism The 13 Best New Books to Read in March Want Weekly Recs on What to Watch, Read, and More? Sign Up for Worth Your Time