Space photos of the infinite universe, including planets and stars.
Billions and Billions
The Crescent Nebula The Crescent Nebula is a form of planetary nebula where the nebula has been created by the fast stellar wind from the central massive star impacting with it’s previously ejected outer shell from the red giant phase. The central star is a Wolf-Rayet star - these are massive stars that burn through their fuel at a prodigous rate. Credit: Paul Beskeen Astrophotography
Spitzer Captures Our Galaxy's Bustling Center
The center of our Milky Way Galaxy is hidden from the prying eyes of optical telescopes by clouds of obscuring dust and gas. But the Spitzer Space Telescope's infrared cameras, penetrate much of the dust revealing the stars of the crowded galactic center region. Stars are packed together and race around the supermassive black hole that lies at the center. Our sun is located 26,000 light-years away in a more peaceful, spacious neighborhood, out in the galactic suburbs.
IC 5148 Wallpaper
The Cosmic Spare Tire (IC 5148) is a beautiful planetary nebula located some 3000 light-years away in the constellation of Grus (The Crane). The nebula has a diameter of a couple of light-years, and it is still growing at over 50 kilometres per second — one of the fastest expanding planetary nebulae known.
APOD: 2007 February 2 - Flame Nebula Close-Up
Of course, the Flame Nebula is not on fire. Also known as NGC 2024, the nebula's suggestive reddish color is due to the glow of hydrogen atoms at the edge of the giant Orion molecular cloud complex some 1,500 light-years away. The hydrogen atoms have been ionized, or stripped of their electrons, and glow as the atoms and electrons recombine. But what ionizes the hydrogen atoms? In this close-up view, a dark lane of absorbing interstellar dust stands out in silhouette against the hydrogen glow an