This fantastic skyscape lies near the edge of NGC 2174 - a star forming region about 6,400 light-years away in the nebula-rich constellation of Orion. It follows mountainous clouds of gas and dust carved by winds and radiation from the region's newborn stars, now found scattered in open star clusters embedded around the center of NGC 2174, off the top of the frame.
The Porpoise Galaxy from Hubble Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STSci/AURA) Just a few hundred million years ago, NGC 2936, the upper of the two large galaxies shown, was likely a normal spiral galaxy... then it got too close to the massive elliptical galaxy NGC 2937 below and took a dive. Dubbed the Porpoise Galaxy for its iconic shape, NGC 2936 is not only being deflected but also being distorted...
NGC 6302 (The Butterfly Nebula): With an estimated surface temperature of about 250,000 degrees C, the central star of this particular planetary nebula is exceptionally hot -- shining brightly in ultraviolet light but hidden from direct view by a dense torus of dust. This dramatically detailed close-up of the dying star's nebula was recorded by the newly upgraded Hubble Space Telescope. Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team
pair of interacting galaxies called arp 273. the larger of the spiral galaxies, known as ugc 1810, has a disk that is distorted into a rose-like shape by the gravitational tidal pull of the companion galaxy below it, known as ugc 1813. ~ credit: nasa, esa, and the hubble heritage team (stsci/aura)