25 Remarkably Stunning NASA Photos

We live on a gorgeous planet, but the beauty of our surroundings doesn’t stop there. When we look up to the cosmos, we are wowed and amazed by the thousands of specs of light beaming down to us, twinkling away in their corners of the sky. But that’s only the beginning.

When we turn our powerful telescopes to the sky – and especially when we snap images across visible light, ultraviolet light, and infrared light ranges – our universe lights up like a million rainbows streaking in the dark. The complex interactions of dust and gases throughout the cosmos create natural artwork in the sky that turn any spot we point a telescope towards into a fine art museum.

While most of us have seen stunning snapshots of craters on the Moon, ancient lake beds on Mars, and close-ups of solar flares from our closest star, we guarantee you’ve never seen the universe like this. From a picture of Jupiter which makes it come alive with color to a dense mountain of gas and dust swirling away in the sky to a nebula which looks like a bright, burning phoenix, here are 25 Remarkably Stunning NASA Photos.

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25

The Sunflower Galaxy is one of the most beautiful cosmic structures in the universe. Its expansive, winding arms are made up of new blue-white giant stars.

Messier 63Source & Image: NASA/ESA/Hubble
24

Though you might not believe it, this image from within the Carina Nebula is as real as can be. The mountain of gas and dust streaming three light-years high into space is a hotbed of activity, dwindling away as stars coalesce within it due to the compression of nearby stars.

carina-nebula-mountain-of-gas-and-dustSource & Image: NASA/ESA/Hubble
23

Isn't near-infrared light amazing? This near-infrared image of Jupiter shows the different clouds in its atmosphere, colored differently based on their altitude. Since methane gas limits the penetration of sunlight, yellow areas are high clouds; red, middle-level clouds; and blue, low clouds. What is really amazing, though, are Jupiter's three largest moons - Io, Ganymede, and Callisto - all eclipsing the planet at the same time, an event that happens only about once a decade.

jupiter in infraredSource & Image: NASA/ESA/Hubble
22

The galaxy I Zwicky 18 looks more a scene from the opening sequence of Doctor Who than it does a real cosmic beauty. The dwarf irregular galaxy baffles scientists because some of its star development is typical of galaxy formation in the earliest days of the universe; this is despite the galaxy being relatively young at around a billion years old.

I-Zwicky_18aSource & Image: NASA/ESA/Hubble
21

The dimmest planet we can see from Earth with the naked eye, Saturn is routinely ranked as a 10-year-old's favorite planet. Its iconic ring structure is the best known in our universe, shown here in infrared radiation to bring out the delicate hues of Saturn's gaseous atmosphere.

Hubble_infrared_of_SaturnSource & Image: NASA/ESA/Hubble


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