This photo from the Hubble Space Telescope shows the heart of the Tarantula nebula, a region teeming with star formation. The image is a giant mosaic view released on April 17, 2012 to mark Hubble's 22nd anniversary in space. ESO telescope observations augment the view. CREDIT: NASA/ESA/ESO
Galaxies are where the action happens in space, islands of activity in a sea of emptiness. Hubble has helped identify the sources of the universe’s most powerful explosions, learned how galaxies came to be, and observed stars in the last stages of their lives.
A new observatory still under construction has given astronomers a major breakthrough in understanding a nearby planetary system and provided valuable clues about how such systems form and evolve. Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have discovered that planets orbiting the star Fomalhaut must be much smaller than originally thought. This is the first published science result from ALMA in its first period of open observations for astronomers worldwide.