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Preview of a Forthcoming Supernova - NASA's Hubble Telescope captured an image of Eta Carinae. This image consists of ultraviolet and visible light images from the High Resolution Channel of Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys. The field of view is approximately 30 arcseconds across.
The Butterfly Nebula - NGC 6302 (also called the Bug Nebula, Butterfly Nebula, or Caldwell 69) is a bipolar planetary nebula in the constellation Scorpius. The structure in the nebula is among the most complex ever observed in planetary nebulae. The spectrum of NGC 6302 shows that its central star is one of the hottest stars in the galaxy, with a surface temperature in excess of 200,000 K, implying that the star from which it formed must have been very large.
Rho Ophiuchus Nebula Complex This amazing complex of nebulosity revealed on long exposure color photographs is one of the most beautiful areas of the entire night sky. It contains dark nebulae where lanes of obscuring dust hide background stars, blue reflection nebulae where the dust is illuminated by nearby stars and red emission nebulae where the hot hydrogen gas itself is glowing.
The famous nebula in Orion, located about 1,340 light-years from Earth, is actively making new stars today. Although the optical nebula is dominated by the light from four massive, hot young stars, IRAC reveals many other young stars still embedded in their dusty womb. It also finds a long filament of star-forming activity containing thousands of young protostars. Some of these stars may host still-forming planets. This image was taken during Spitzer's warm mission.
This composite image of a portion of the Tarantula Nebula's central cavity illustrates the profound effect new stars can have on their environment. The young stars are acting something like cosmic, decidedly non-eco-friendly light bulbs. Each star cranks out a dazzlingly high wattage in the form of optical and ultraviolet (UV) radiation.