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Hubble Space Telescope

This is the official account for NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, managed and operated by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

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Hubble Space Telescope (@nasahubble) Instagram photos and videos

List of Instagram medias taken by Hubble Space Telescope (@nasahubble)

Thousands of sparkling young stars are nestled within the giant nebula NGC 3603. About 20,000 light-years away, this stellar "jewel box" is one of the most massive young star clusters in the Milky Way Galaxy. For more information on Hubble, follow the link in our bio. Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration; Acknowledgment: J. Maíz Apellániz (Institute of Astrophysics of Andalucía, Spain)

Although it looks more like an entity seen through a microscope than a telescope, this rounded object, named NGC 2022, is certainly not algae or tiny, blobby jellyfish. Instead, it is a vast orb of gas in space, cast off by an aging star. The star is visible in the orb's center, shining through the gases it formerly held onto for most of its stellar life. When stars like the Sun grow advanced in age, they expand and glow red. These so-called red giants then begin to lose their outer layers of material into space. More than half of such a star's mass can be shed in this manner, forming a shell of surrounding gas. At the same time, the star's core shrinks and grows hotter, emitting ultraviolet light that causes the expelled gases to glow. This type of object is called, somewhat confusingly, a planetary nebula, though it has nothing to do with planets. The name derives from the rounded, planet-like appearance of these objects in early telescopes. NGC 2022 is located in the constellation of Orion. For more information, follow the link in our bio. Text credit: ESA (European Space Agency) Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. Wade

Happy ! Hubble astronaut John Grunsfeld is left handed, which made him especially good at getting to 36 hard-to-reach connectors on the left side of Hubble’s power control unit when it was replaced in 2002. Image 1: Dark, close-up view of STS-109 Mission specialist John Grunsfeld holding a tool during repairs to the Power Control Unit (PCU) on the Hubble Space Telescope. The image was taken during the third of five Extravehicular Activities (EVAs) of the mission. He is replacing the connectors on the new Power Control Unit which has just installed. Image 2: Close-up view of the newly installed Power Control Unit (PCU) installed in the Hubble Space Telescope during the third of five Extravehicular Activities (EVAs) of the mission. To hear more about this, check out our IGTV video "Hubble Tool TIme Episode 5 - Servicing Mission 3B." Credit: NASA/Hubble

The pair of strange, luminescent creatures at play in this image are actually galaxies — realms of millions upon millions of stars. This galactic duo is known as UGC 2369. The galaxies are interacting, meaning that their mutual gravitational attraction is pulling them closer and closer together and distorting their shapes in the process. A tenuous bridge of gas, dust and stars can be seen connecting the two galaxies, created when they pulled material out into space across the diminishing divide between them. Interaction with others is a common event in the history of most galaxies. For larger galaxies like the Milky Way, the majority of these interactions involve significantly smaller so-called dwarf galaxies. But every few billion years, a more momentous event can occur. For our home galaxy, the next big event will take place in about four billion years, when it will collide with its bigger neighbor, the Andromeda galaxy. Over time, the two galaxies will likely merge into one — already nicknamed Milkomeda. For more information, follow the link in our bio. Text credit: ESA (European Space Agency) Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Evans

Jupiter is the king of the solar system, more massive than all of the other solar-system planets combined. Although astronomers have been observing the gas-giant planet for hundreds of years, it still remains a mysterious world. Astronomers don't have definitive answers, for example, of why cloud bands and storms change colors, or why storms shrink in size. The most prominent long-lasting feature, the Great Red Spot, has been downsizing since the 1800s. However, the giant storm is still large enough to swallow Earth. The Red Spot is anchored in a roiling atmosphere that is powered by heat welling up from the monster planet's deep interior, which drives a turbulent atmosphere. In contrast, sunlight powers Earth's atmosphere. From Jupiter, however, the Sun is much fainter because the planet is much farther away from it. Jupiter's upper atmosphere is a riot of colorful clouds, contained in bands that whisk along at different wind speeds and in alternating directions. Dynamic features such as cyclones and anticyclones (high-pressure storms that rotate counterclockwise in the southern hemisphere) abound. Attempting to understand the forces driving Jupiter's atmosphere is like trying to predict the pattern cream will make when it is poured into a hot cup of coffee. Researchers are hoping that Hubble's yearly monitoring of the planet—as an interplanetary weatherman—will reveal the shifting behavior of Jupiter's clouds. Hubble images should help unravel many of the planet's outstanding puzzles. This new Hubble image is part of that yearly study, called the Outer Planets Atmospheres Legacy program, or OPAL. For more information, follow the link in our bio. Credits: NASA, ESA, A. Simon (Goddard Space Flight Center), and M.H. Wong (University of California, Berkeley)

It's ! Pulsars are cosmic lighthouses, dense stars that sweep beams of radiation across the universe as they spin. This , combining 9 months of Hubble images, shows rings, wisps & jets around the Crab Nebula pulsar. For more information on Hubble, follow the link in our bio. Credits: NASA/HST/ASU/J.Hester et al.

Believe it or not, this long, luminous streak, speckled with bright blisters and pockets of material, is a spiral galaxy like our Milky Way. But how could that be? It turns out that we see this galaxy, named NGC 3432, oriented directly edge-on to us from our vantage point here on Earth. The galaxy’s spiral arms and bright core are hidden, and we instead see the thin of its very outer reaches. Dark bands of cosmic dust, patches of varying brightness and pink regions of star formation help with making out the true of NGC 3432 — but it’s still somewhat of a challenge! Because observatories such as Hubble have seen spiral galaxies at every kind of orientation, astronomers can tell when we happen to have caught one from the side. The galaxy is located in the constellation of Leo Minor (the Lesser Lion). For more information, follow the link in our bio. Text credit: ESA (European Space Agency) Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Filippenko, R. Jansen

This artist's illustration shows an alien world that is losing magnesium and iron gas from its atmosphere. The observations represent the first time that so-called "heavy metals"—elements more massive than hydrogen and helium—have been detected escaping from a hot Jupiter, a large gaseous exoplanet orbiting very close to its star. The planet, known as WASP-121b, orbits a star brighter and hotter than the Sun. The planet is so dangerously close to its star that its upper atmosphere reaches a blazing 4,600 degrees Fahrenheit, about 10 times greater than any known planetary atmosphere. A torrent of ultraviolet light from the host star is heating the planet's upper atmosphere, which is causing the magnesium and iron gas to escape into space. Observations by Hubble's Imaging Spectrograph have detected the spectral signatures of magnesium and iron far away from the planet. The planet's "hugging" distance from the star means that it is on the verge of being ripped apart by the star's gravitational tidal forces. The powerful gravitational forces have altered the planet's so that it appears more football d. The WASP-121 system is about 900 light-years from Earth. For more information, follow the link in our bio. Credits- Artwork: NASA, ESA, and J. Olmsted (STScI); Science: NASA, ESA, and D. Sing (Johns Hopkins University)

This shows an area where stars are forming, not in our galaxy but in a nearby one known as the Small Magellanic Cloud. A brilliant star cluster called NGC 346 is swaddled in clouds of gas & dust from which the stars formed. For more information on Hubble, follow the link in our bio. Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Nota (STScI/ESA)

Every now and then, Hubble glimpses a common object — say, a spiral galaxy — in an interesting or unusual way. A sharply angled perspective, such as the one swn in this Hubble image, can make it seem as if we, the viewers, are craning our necks to see over a barrier into the galaxy's bright center. In the case of NGC 3169, this barrier is the dust embedded within the galaxy's spiral arms. Cosmic dust comprises a potpourri of particles, including water ice, hydrocarbons, silicates and other solid material. It has many origins and sources, from the leftovers of star and planet formation to molecules modified over millions of years by interactions with starlight. NGC 3169 is located about 70 million light-years away in the constellation of Sextans. It is part of the Leo I Group of galaxies, which, like the Local Group that uses our me galaxy, the Milky Way, is part of a larger galactic congregation known as the Virgo Supercluster. For more information, follow the link in our bio. Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, L. Ho Text credit: European Space Agency (ESA)

This stunning view of M101, also known as the Pinwheel galaxy, is one of the largest images Hubble has ever captured of a spiral galaxy. Assembled from 51 exposures taken during various studies over nearly ten years, this infrared and visible-light image measures 16,000 by 12,000 pixels. Ground-based images were used to fill in the portions of the galaxy that Hubble did not observe. The giant spiral disk of stars, dust and gas is 170,000 light-years across — nearly twice the diameter of our galaxy, the Milky Way. M101 is estimated to contain at least one trillion stars. The galaxy’s spiral arms are sprinkled with large regions of star-forming nebulas. These nebulas are areas of intense star formation within giant molecular hydrogen clouds. Brilliant, young clusters of hot, blue, newborn stars trace out the spiral arms. For more information on Hubble, follow the link in our bio. Credits: Hubble Image: NASA, ESA, K. Kuntz (JHU), F. Bresolin (University of Hawaii), J. Trauger (Jet Propulsion Lab), J. Mould (NOAO), Y.-H. Chu (University of Illinois, Urbana) and STScI; CFHT Image: Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope/J.-C. Cuillandre/Coelum; NOAO Image: G. Jacoby, B. Bohannan, M. Hanna/NOAO/AURA/NSF

Galaxies come in many s and sizes. One of the key galaxy types we see in the universe is the spiral galaxy, as demonstrated in an especially beautiful way by the subject of this Hubble image, NGC 2985. NGC 2985 lies over 70 million light-years from the solar system in the constellation of Ursa Major. The intricate, near-perfect symmetry on display here reveals the incredible complexity of NGC 2985. Multiple tightly wound spiral arms widen as they whirl outward from the galaxy’s bright core, slowly fading and dissipating until these majestic structures disappear into the emptiness of intergalactic space, bringing a beautiful end to their starry splendor. Over eons, spiral galaxies tend to run into other galaxies, often resulting in mergers. These coalescing events scramble the winding structures of the original galaxies, smoothing and rounding their . These objects possess a beauty all their own, distinct from the spiral galaxies from whence they came. For more information on Hubble, follow the link in our bio. Text credit: ESA (European Space Agency) Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, L. Ho

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