Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Across the world, children fall asleep under the faint light from glow-in-the-dark astronomy stickers. Though undeniably adorable, these ceiling planetariums are too jam-packed to be realistic. You’d never see stars, dozens of spiral galaxies, and comets all at the same time, all shining together from the same patch of sky. Unless, of course, you had Hubble.
On April 30, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope observed Comet ISON. Compared to the stars and galaxies twinkling behind it, ISON is just a stone’s throw from Earth. Here, though, we see the comet splashed out over deep space, in a collage with colorful, distant neighbors.
This Hubble Heritage image combines two Hubble filters. One filter lets in red light, which is represented here as red, and the other a greenish-yellow color, which is represented as blue. In general, redder things are older, more evolved, than blue things – this is true both for the crosshair-spiked stars and the smudges of distant galaxies. If you’re wondering what color the Sun would appear in this image, look no further than ISON itself. Unlike the objects in the frame, ISON isn’t bright on its own – it just reflects sunlight back to Earth.
In other ISON observations, Hubble has slewed to point at the comet as it moves across the stars. This is great for getting an image of ISON, but not so great if you want to see the fainter galaxies and stars that comprise ISON’s celestial neighborhood. So for these images, we settled on a tradeoff: as Hubble orbited the Earth, snapping pictures of ISON, we kept the telescope trained on the stars instead of following the comet.

"The spinning vortex of Saturn’s north polar storm resembles a deep red rose of giant proportions surrounded by green foliage in this false-color image from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. Measurements have sized the eye at a staggering 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers) across with cloud speeds as fast as 330 miles per hour (150 meters per second)." - NASA

(Photo from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center athttp://flic.kr/p/efbfx8)

spaceeshipjournal:

NGC2024 - Flame Nebula and IC434 / Barnard 33 - Horsehead Nebula in the Constellation of Orion by Astronomy Now on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
NGC2024 - Flame Nebula
IC434 - Horsehead Nebula

Both of these nebulae are located in the constellation of Orion and are on the left side of Orions Belt, the Horsehead Nebula is approximately 1500 Light years from earth, and the Flame Nebula is approximately 900 Light years from earth

Image Details
26x 10Min Exposures at ISO 800
43x Dark Frames
55x Flat Frames
Celestron C80ED APO Refractor
Canon 450D Modified
Skywatcher 80 Guide Scope
Orion Starshoot Autoguider
Images Aquired with BackyardEOS
Images Stacked with Nebulosity 2

This image was taken with a modified camera which is why there is a difference between the previous version, modifying the camera makes it more sensitive to Infra Red Light and therefore picking up Hydrogen Alpha, I am glad I finally modified the 450D

The previous 13x 10 min exposures was added together with another 13x 10 min exposures giving a total of just over 4 hours of exposures in total

This face-on spiral galaxy, called NGC 3982, is striking for its rich tapestry of star birth, along with its winding arms. The arms are lined with pink star-forming regions of glowing hydrogen, newborn blue star clusters, and obscuring dust lanes that provide the raw material for future generations of stars. The bright nucleus is home to an older population of stars, which grow ever more densely packed toward the center.
NGC 3982 is located about 68 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major. The galaxy spans about 30,000 light-years, one-third of the size of our Milky Way galaxy. This color image is composed of exposures taken by the Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), and the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2). The observations were taken between March 2000 and August 2009.

Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope received a boost from a cosmic magnifying glass to construct one of the sharpest maps of dark matter in the universe. They used Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys to chart the invisible matter in the massive galaxy cluster Abell 1689, located 2.2 billion light-years away. The cluster contains about 1,000 galaxies and trillions of stars. Dark matter is an invisible form of matter that accounts for most of the universe’s mass. Hubble cannot see the dark matter directly. Astronomers inferred its location by analyzing the effect of gravitational lensing, where light from galaxies behind Abell 1689 is distorted by intervening matter within the cluster.
Researchers used the observed positions of 135 lensed images of 42 background galaxies to calculate the location and amount of dark matter in the cluster. They superimposed a map of these inferred dark matter concentrations, tinted blue, on a Hubble image of the cluster. The new dark matter observations may yield new insights into the role of dark energy in the universe’s early formative years.

Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Simon-Miller (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)

ESA/Herschel/PACS, SPIRE/N. Schneider, Ph. André, V. Könyves (CEA Saclay, France) for the ‘Gould Belt survey’ Key Programme
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New infrared view of the Horsehead Nebula — Hubble’s 23rd anniversary image


Click to Enlarge
This new Hubble image, captured and released to celebrate the telescope’s 23rd year in orbit, shows part of the sky in the constellation of Orion (The Hunter). Rising like a giant seahorse from turbulent waves of dust and gas is the Horsehead Nebula, otherwise known as Barnard 33.

This image shows the region 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. The result is a rather ethereal and fragile-looking structure, made of delicate folds of gas — very different to the nebula’s appearance in visible light.

Credit:

NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI)

ESA/Hubble Flashback: Hubble snaps images of a nebula within a cluster. Feel free to share!

The unique planetary nebula NGC 2818 is nested inside the open star cluster NGC 2818A. Both the cluster and the nebula reside over 10 000 light-years away, in the southern constellation Pyxis (the Compass). Read more at: http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/ann0901a/

Credit: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

kidsneedscience:

The Coalsack Nebula is a prominent asterism visible in the Southern Hemisphere, located in the Southern Cross constellation.  It was known to ancient cultures, notably among the Australian aboriginal peoples who knew it as the Great Emu or the Emu in the Sky.  It was first catalogued by Europeans in 1499 by Vicente Yañez Pinzon, the Spanish explorer, navigator and conquistador who sailed with Christopher Columbus in 1492 as the Captain of the Niña.  It was also known as il Canopo fosco (the dark Canopus) by Amerigo Vespucci and later called Macula Magellani (Magellan’s Spot) or the Black Magellanic Cloud to distinguish it from the Magellanic Clouds in the Northern Hemisphere.  The Pre-Columbian Incans knew it as Yutu which meant a partridge-like southern bird.  It wasn’t until the 1970s that powerful telescopes were able to show that it actually had a faint glow, reflecting the surrounding light from the Milky Way Galaxy.  
Image of the Coalsack Nebula courtesy naskies, used with permission under a Creative Commons 3.0 license.

kidsneedscience:

The Coalsack Nebula is a prominent asterism visible in the Southern Hemisphere, located in the Southern Cross constellation. It was known to ancient cultures, notably among the Australian aboriginal peoples who knew it as the Great Emu or the Emu in the Sky. It was first catalogued by Europeans in 1499 by Vicente Yañez Pinzon, the Spanish explorer, navigator and conquistador who sailed with Christopher Columbus in 1492 as the Captain of the Niña. It was also known as il Canopo fosco (the dark Canopus) by Amerigo Vespucci and later called Macula Magellani (Magellan’s Spot) or the Black Magellanic Cloud to distinguish it from the Magellanic Clouds in the Northern Hemisphere. The Pre-Columbian Incans knew it as Yutu which meant a partridge-like southern bird. It wasn’t until the 1970s that powerful telescopes were able to show that it actually had a faint glow, reflecting the surrounding light from the Milky Way Galaxy.

Image of the Coalsack Nebula courtesy naskies, used with permission under a Creative Commons 3.0 license.