Spacecraft Cassini orbiting Saturn has recorded yet another amazing view. Titan, Saturn's largest moon, appears above. The rings of Saturn are seen as a thin line because they are so flat and imaged nearly edge on. Details of Saturn's rings are therefore best visible in the dark ring shadows seen across the giant planet's cloud tops. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/J. Major.
This photo from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope shows an ominous pillar of gas and dust known as the Cone Nebula. The image shows the top portion of the nebula that is 2.5 light years in height. The Cone Nebula is 2,500 light-years from Earth in the Monoceros constellation. The red halo of light seen around the pillar is caused when ultraviolet radiation causes hydrogen gas in the nebula to glow.
A perfect 10 for the Hubble Space Telescope! This once-in-a-lifetime image shows a pair of gravitationally interacting galaxies called Arp 147. The galaxy on the left, or the "one", is relatively undisturbed, whereas the galaxy on the right, or the "zero", is a messy ring of intense star formation. Image credit: NASA, ESA and M. Livio (STScI)
Except for the rings of Saturn, the Ring Nebula (M57) is probably the most famous celestial band. Its classic appearance is understood to be due to perspective - our view from planet Earth looks down the center of a roughly barrel-shaped cloud of glowing gas. But expansive looping structures are seen to extend far beyond the Ring Nebula's familiar central regions in this intriguing composite of ground based and Hubble Space Telescope images with narrowband image data from Subaru.