25 Most Incredible Photos of Our Universe

Posted by on April 25, 2012

Space is big, and if you have read our list on 25 crazy facts about our universe then you know it’s also incredibly complex. As you scroll through these photos not only are you seeing some of our universe’s enormity, but you are also looking back in time thousands of years. So allow yourself be humbled because these are the 25 most incredible photos of our universe.


25

Sombrero Galaxy

Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes

One of the most photogenic images in our universe, the Sombrero Galaxy is roughly 28 million light years away from Earth. It’s not hard to see where it gets its name from and scientists suspect that it probably has a super massive black hole at the center. The image you see is actually a mash up of several other images taken by both the Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescopes.

24

Ant Nebula

Hubble Space Telescope

Resembling the body of an ant, what you are looking at is actually a star in process of dying. Those jets of gas being shot out into space are actually moving at about 620 miles per second. Don’t worry though, the nebula is located approximately 8,000 light years from Earth (from left to right the image above spans a length of about 1 light year)

23

Helix Nebula (Eye of God)

Hubble Space Telescope

Taken in 2003 by the Hubble Space Telescope, this image of a dying star 700 light years from the Earth saw heavy circulation on the internet and became one of the most famous deep space pictures yet.

22

Whirlpool Galaxy

NASA/ESA

What has become a classic picture of deep space, the Whirlpool Galaxy is actually visible from Earth if you can get your hands on some quality binoculars. It is believed to spiral the way it does due to the gravitational disturbance caused by the dwarf galaxy in the upper right.

21

Crab Nebula

Hubble Space Telescope

About a thousand years ago a star exploded in the night sky and was recorded by astronomers all around the world. Records show that Chinese, Arab, and Native American stargazers all observed the event to be visible in broad daylight for almost 1 month and at night for over 2 years. It was until recently, however, that we could get a closeup.

20

The Enigmatic Cloud

Hubble Space Telescope

It’s technical name being nebula IRAS 05437+2502, little is known about this obscure nebula near the central plane of our galaxy. First discovered by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) in 1983, it was recently spotted again by the Hubble.

18

Centaurus A

Hubble Space Telescope

This image of Centaurus A using the most advanced instrument on the Hubble Space Telescope, Wide Field Camera 3, reveals previously concealed portions of this spectacular galaxy.



17

The Edge-On Galaxy

Hubble Space Telescope

Technically named ESO 510-G13, this image gives you an idea of what a spiral galaxy like ours looks like when captured edge-on.

16

The Flocculent Spiral

Hubble Space Telescope

Unlike our galaxy, NGC 2841 has much shorter spiral arms rather than long extensive limbs and is therefore known as a flocculent galaxy.

15

The Red Spider Nebula

Hubble Space Telescope

This extremely warm nebula is home to one of the hottest known stars in the universe and it generates stellar winds with waves over 100 billion km high.

14

Tarantula Nebula

Hubble Space Telescope

Consisting mostly of ionized hydrogen gas, this nebula located in the Large Magellanic Cloud is a place of extremes and due to numerous supernova remnants it is one the brightest nebulae in our intergalactic neighborhood. Another fun fact – it’s home to the heaviest star on record.

13

Galactic Wreckage

Hubble Space Telescope

Known as Stephan’s Quintet, this groups of galaxies appears to be constantly running into each other making for some intense intergalactic stargazing.

12

Orion Nebula

Hubble Space Telescope

As the closest star forming region to Earth, the Orion Nebula is 24 light years in diameter and 1,500 light years from Earth. It is actually visible to the naked eye if you look in the direction of the Orion constellation.

11

Andromeda Galaxy

NASA/ESA

No list of space pictures would be complete without on of our nearest galactic neighbors, the Andromeda Galaxy. One of the only things in the night sky outside of the Milky Way that is visible with the naked eye, it spans approximately 200,000 light years.