NASA's telescopes and spacecraft have captured images from our own solar system to the far reaches of the universe. From the Hubble Space Telescope to the Voyager and New Horizons probes, here are some of the best.
New perspective on a space snowman
The Kuiper Belt object Ultima Thule, about 1 billion miles beyond Pluto, which was encountered by the New Horizons spacecraft, is seen on Jan. 1, 2019. New photos from New Horizons offered a new perspective on the small cosmic body 4 billion miles away. Scientists say Ultima Thule, which resembles a space snowman, is actually flatter on the backside than originally thought.
Disturbing news from a glacier in Antarctica
An aerial view of Thwaites Glacier in the Antarctic on Dec. 13, 2018, is seen in this photo made available Jan. 30, 2019. Researchers found a disturbing growth of gaps between ice and bedrock at Thwaites' bottom big enough to have contained 14 billion tons of ice, and most of that ice melted in the past three years. The cavity was revealed by ice-penetrating radar in NASA's Operation IceBridge.
Blooms in the Chukchi Sea
Blooms of phytoplankton forming patterns of blue and green seawater are seen in a NASA satellite image of the waters off the Alaskan coast on June 18, 2018.
Haziness on Mars
NASA's Curiosity Rover captured intensifying haziness on the surface of Mars caused by a massive dust storm in this June 2018 photo. The rover was standing inside Gale Crater looking out to the crater rim.
'Red' rover's self-portrait
A self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover on Vera Rubin Ridge on Jan. 23, 2018, in a composite made from a series of photos. Scientists said June 7 that the rover found potential building blocks of life in an ancient lakebed and confirmed seasonal increases in atmospheric methane.
A young star blasting hurricane-like stellar winds
This February 2018 image made available by NASA on April 19, 2018, shows the Lagoon Nebula, a "vast stellar nursery" about 4,000 light years away from Earth, the agency says. The young star Herschel 36 is at center. The star, 200,000 times brighter and 32 times more massive than our sun, blasts powerful ultraviolet radiation and hurricane-like stellar winds, carving out structures in the surrounding gas and dust. The photo was released to celebrate Hubble's 28th anniversary in space on April 24.
This is also the the Lagoon Nebula
This companion shot of the Lagoon Nebula shows the stellar nursery in near-infrared light, giving a starkly different view. This image was also taken in February 2018.
A ghostly, fuzzy-looking galaxy far, far away
This photo taken Nov. 16, 2017, shows NGC 1052-DF2, a large, fuzzy-looking galaxy so diffuse that astronomers can clearly see distant galaxies behind it. It is about 65 million light years away in the NGC 1052 Group, which is dominated by a massive elliptical galaxy called NGC 1052. The ghostly NGC 1052-DF2 is not a well-formed galaxy. It does not look like a typical spiral galaxy, but it does not look like an elliptical galaxy either. But the weirdest aspect of the galaxy is that it is missing most, if not all, of its dark matter.
The center of the Milky Way
This infrared image from the Hubble Space Telescope released on March 31, 2016, shows the center of the Milky Way, 27,000 light years away from Earth.
Hurricane Harvey approaches Texas
Hurricane Harvey is shown in the Gulf of Mexico in this satellite image released by NASA on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017. Harvey is expected to become a Category 3 hurricane by the time it makes landfall near Corpus Christi, Texas, late Friday.
A splendid moon rise
This image of the moon, released on Aug. 8, 2017, was taken by NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik on Aug. 3 from his vantage point in low Earth orbit aboard the International Space Station. Bresnik wrote, "Gorgeous moon rise! Such great detail when seen from space," as he looked forward to the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21.
Wonders captured by Hubble
This photo released by the European Space Agency on April 20, 2017, displays the galaxies NGC 4302, left, and NGC 4298, both located 55 million light years away.
They were observed by Hubble and shown to celebrate its 27th year in orbit. NGC 4298 is seen almost face-on, with its spiral arms and the blue patches of ongoing star formation and young stars. In the edge-on disc of NGC 4302, huge swathes of dust are responsible for the mottled brown patterns, but a burst of blue to the left side of the galaxy indicates a region of extremely vigorous star formation. The image is a mosaic of four separate captures from Hubble, taken between Jan. 2-22, 2017. Two different types of light emitted by the galaxies, visible and near-infrared, have also been combined to enhance the images.
Cassini captures Saturn's rings, icy moon
This Cassini image obtained from NASA shows the rings of Saturn and the icy moon Tethys on May 13, 2017. The view was acquired at a distance of about 750,000 miles from Saturn.
Saturn's moon Mimas dwarfed by rings
This undated photo made available by NASA shows one of Saturn's moons, Mimas, dwarfed by the planet's rings. Launched in 1997, Cassini reached Saturn in 2004 and has been exploring it from orbit ever since. With Cassini's fuel tank almost empty, NASA opted for a risky, but science-rich grand finale.
Passing view of Pan
This raw, unprocessed image released by NASA shows Saturn's tiny moon, Pan, on March 7, 2017, and was taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The closest approach of the flyby was 15,268 miles. The image is the closest one ever taken of Pan and will help to characterize its shape and geology.
Mount Etna's smoke
In this aerial photo taken on March 3, 2017, and made available on March 8, smoke billows from the Mount Etna volcano near Catania, Sicily.
The remains of a supernova, as seen by Hubble
The supernova remnant, called SN 1987A, is shown in this photo taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in January 2017 and released by the European Space Agency and NASA on Feb. 24, 2017. Since its launch in 1990, Hubble has observed the expanding dust cloud of SN 1987A several times, helping astronomers create a better understanding of such cosmic explosions.
Cassini sees Saturn's shadow on its rings
This Feb. 3, 2017, image made available by NASA shows Saturn's shadow on its rings as seen from the Cassini spacecraft. During its deliberate plunge on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, Cassini will keep sampling Saturn's atmosphere and beaming back data, until the spacecraft loses control and its antenna no longer points toward Earth.
Incredible look at Mars' north polar ice cap
This view of Mars' north polar ice cap and its distinctive dark troughs in a spiral pattern is in a photo released by the European Space Agency on Feb. 2, 2017. The view is based on undated images taken by the ESA's Mars Express and was generated using elevation data from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter on board NASA's Mars Global Surveyor mission.
One of Cassini's last full views of the planet it's studied
This image obtained from NASA shows one of the last full views of Saturn by the Cassini spacecraft taken on Oct. 28, 2016. The view was acquired at a distance of about 870,000 miles.
This is Mercury
A NASA image obtained on Sept. 27, 2016, from NASA's Messenger spacecraft reveals previously undetected land forms, called small fault scarps that resemble stairsteps on the planet Mercury. The fault scarps are small enough that scientists believe they must be geologically young, which means Mercury could still be contracting, and that Earth may not be the only tectonically active planet in our solar system.
The southern tip of Italy is visible in this image taken by the Expedition 49 crew aboard the International Space Station on Sept. 17, 2016. The NASA photo was obtained Sept. 21, 2016. The brightly lit city of Naples can be seen in the bottom section of the image.
Greenland glaciers flow into a fjord
The Brückner and Heim glaciers flow into Johan Petersen Fjord in southeast Greenland on Sept. 2, 2016. Greenland's ice sheet is melting more than 7 percent faster than previously thought, according to a new study. Scientists said a hot spot beneath the Earth's crust was distorting their calculations. The study in the journal Science Advances raises concerns about the increasing impact of melting ice on sea level, since Greenland has the second-largest ice sheet in the world, after the one in Antarctica.
Jupiter's Great Red Spot and three of its four largest moons were captured in this July 10, 2016, image released by NASA that was taken by the Juno spacecraft five days after it arrived at Jupiter. Juno is on a 20-month mission to study Jupiter's poles, atmosphere and interior.
The heart of the Crab Nebula, in a time lapse
The very heart of the Crab Nebula, including its central neutron star, is shown in this image from NASA and the European Space Agency. It is the rightmost of the two bright stars near the center of this image. The rapid motion of the material nearest the central star is revealed by the subtle rainbow of colors in this time-lapse image. There's a rainbow effect due to the movement of material over the time between one image and another.
Two planets and their red dwarf star parent
This artist's illustration released by NASA on July 20, 2016, shows two Earth-size planets, known as TRAPPIST-1b and TRAPPIST-1c, passing in front of their parent red dwarf star, which is much smaller and cooler than our sun.
Tracking Arctic sea ice
This NASA image released July 19, 2016, shows sea ice of the Arctic Ocean shrinking to below-average levels. This large pool of melt water over sea ice was seen from a NASA Operation IceBridge flight on July 14 over the Beaufort Sea, north of Alaska and the Yukon and Northwest territories in Canada.
Mercury on the move
The planet Mercury appears as a tiny black spot, bottom left, as it moves past the sun on Monday, May 9, 2016, as viewed from Boyertown, Pa. Mercury passes between Earth and the sun only about 13 times a century; the previous transit took place in 2006.
The planet Mercury appears as a tiny black spot, bottom left, as it moves past the sun on Monday, May 9, 2016, as seen from Boyertown, Pa.
In an image taken with special foil mounted to the front of a 700-mm telephoto lens, the planet Mercury appears as a tiny black spot, bottom center, as it moves past the sun on Monday, May 9, 2016, as seen from Frankfurt (Oder), Germany. The silhouette of a plane trailed by its contrails is seen at top.
It's pretty hot here
The planet Mercury appears as a tiny black spot, bottom left, as it moves past the sun on May 9, 2016, as seen from NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C.
This is Earth seen through infrared
This NOAA/NASA image released Friday, April 22, 2016, shows planet Earth. The VIIRS sensor on the Suomi NPP satellite can see the world differently, with its 22 channels, each tuned to detect a different portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. This image uses near-infrared and shortwave infrared energy instead of the standard red, green, and blue light that the human eye has evolved to detect. By using infrared energy rather than visible light, the colors indicate differences in temperature rather than what they look like. For example, instead of appearing just white, clouds are shades of yellow, orange, and red depending on their elevation.
The southern lights
The aurora australis, or southern lights, are shown in this image taken by European Space Agency astronaut Tim Peake from the International Space Station on April 17, 2016. Peake was performing more than 30 scientific experiments and taking part in numerous others during his 6-month mission.
These are solar flares
This picture made available by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory on Thursday, April 21, 2016, shows a dramatic display of a round solar filament bursting out from the sun on March 13. Solar flares are powerful blasts of radiation from the sun when its magnetic fields burst and release energy.
Magnetic field lines over the sun
This photo made available by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory on Thursday, April 21, 2016, shows arches of magnetic field lines towering over the surface of the sun as a pair of active regions began to rotate into view in space on April 5. Active regions are intense areas of competing magnetic forces that are embedded below the sun's surface.
The Large Magellanic Cloud
A vast bubble in the Large Magellanic Cloud was formed by the explosive death of one or more of the cluster of massive stars inside the bubble. Cosmic rays reaching Earth are created and accelerated by similar explosions.
Eye of the storm
The eye of Storm Katie is shown just off the southeast coast of Britain on Monday, March 28, 2016, after passing over southern England, bringing strong winds to the region and to northern France, in this composite satellite image retrieved from NASA's Earth Observing System Data and Information System.
The Arctic ice cap shrinks
This image provided by NASA shows Arctic sea ice at its maximum -- the lowest on record. The winter maximum level of Arctic sea ice shrank to the smallest on record, thanks to extraordinarily warm temperatures, federal scientists said. The National Snow and Ice Data Center says sea ice spread to a maximum of 5.607 million square miles in 2016. That's 5,000 square miles less than the old record set in 2015, a difference slightly smaller than the state of Connecticut.
The center of the Milky Way
This infrared image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope released on Thursday, March 31, 2016, shows the center of the Milky Way, 27,000 light-years away from Earth.
Can you guess which continent this is?
An image dated Tuesday, March 29, 2016, and issued by NASA on March 30 shows the terrain of the western Australian coast during an International Space Station flyover of Australia. NASA astronaut Jeff Williams captured the colorful image of the coast.
Arriving at a far-away destination
In this image made from video provided by NASA, Orbital ATK's Cygnus cargo ship, top, approaches the International Space Station on Saturday, March 26, 2016. The cargo carrier was launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., four days before.
An aurora captures the imagination
A glowing aurora is seen from the International Space Station in this stunning image shared by Expedition 46 flight engineer Tim Peake of the European Space Agency. It was taken Feb. 23, 2016, and released Feb. 24. The dancing lights of the aurora provide spectacular views on the ground, but also capture the imagination of scientists who study incoming energy and particles from the sun.
London's lights seen from space
This NASA image taken from the International Space Station Sept. 25, 2015, and released Feb. 22, 2016, shows much of London and its suburbs. Two of the characteristics that stand out at night are the progressively denser concentrations of lights and the change from yellower to whiter light toward the commercial center of the city.
NASA's Scott Kelly, while wrapping up his year in space, posted this throwback photo to Instagram on Tuesday, March 1, 2016, which he had captioned: "#MilkyWay. You're old, dusty, gassy and warped. But beautiful. Good night from @space_station! #YearInSpace."
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly posted this image to Instagram Tuesday, March 1, 2016, with the following caption: #Countdown We're down to a wakeup. #Earth. I'm coming for you tomorrow! #GoodNight from @iss! #YearInSpace
Astronaut Scott Kelly posted this image of what he described as water to Instagram on Monday, Feb. 29, 2016, while nearing the end of his "Year in Space."
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly posted this photo of Earth to Instagram on Jan. 25, 2016, Day 304 of his "Year in Space."
Sending trash back to Earth
This photo taken from NASA TV shows a capsule loaded with 1.5 tons of trash that was released from the International Space Station on Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. NASA supplier Orbital ATK launched the capsule, named Cygnus, to the space station in December, full of food, clothes and other goods. Astronauts removed the precious contents, then filled it with garbage for incineration. The spacecraft should re-enter the atmosphere and burn up harmlessly over the Pacific on Saturday.
Busy at work, outside the space station
Astronaut Terry Virts installs an antenna and boom during a spacewalk outside the International Space Station in this March 1, 2015, image from a NASA video. On Friday, Feb. 19, 2016, NASA announced it received a record number of applicants -- some 18,300 -- for its next astronaut class. That's more than double the previous record of 8,000 for the first space shuttle astronaut class in 1978.
Planetary nebula spreads its wings
Spectacularly symmetrical wings of the planetary nebula Hen 2-437 appear in an icy blue hue in this undated image made available on Friday, Feb. 12, 2016. Hen 2-437 is one of around 3,000 such objects that have been discovered within the Milky Way.
Super Bowl 50 from the nosebleed seats
Astronaut Scott Kelly took this picture Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, of Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, from the International Space Station, writing, "Got to see the #SuperBowl in person after all! But at 17,500MPH, it didn't last long. #YearInSpace"
The Mediterranean, from above
A space view of the Alps, Italy and the Mediterranean is seen in this image taken from the International Space Station on Jan. 25, 2016, and released by NASA the following day.
Curiosity Mars' self-portrait
NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is shown at "Namib Dune," where the rover's activities included scuffing into the dune with a wheel and scooping samples of sand for laboratory analysis, in a selfie obtained from NASA on Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016.
A snowy D.C. from space
The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 captured this color image of Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., on Jan. 24, 2016, a few days after a nor'easter dumped 18 to 40 inches of snow on the region.
The galaxy cluster called IDCS J1426.5+3508, or IDCS 1426 for short, is shown -- with X-rays from the Chandra X-ray Observatory in blue, visible light from the Hubble Space Telescope in green, and infrared light from the Spitzer Space Telescope in red -- in this picture released by NASA on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016. This rare galaxy cluster, which is 10 billion light years from Earth, weighs almost 500 trillion suns. The object has important implications for understanding how these mega-structures formed and evolved early in the universe. Astronomers have observed IDCS 1426 when the universe was less than a third of its current age. It is the most massive galaxy cluster detected at such an early age.
This image provided by CU-Boulder shows the galaxy SDSS J1126+2944 taken with the Hubble Space Telescope and the Chandra X-ray Observatory, with an arrow placed by the source pointing to a black hole that lost most of its stars. The University of Colorado's Julie Comerford has discovered something even rarer than a double-black hole galaxy: a skinny black hole. Her findings were reported Tuesday, Jan 5, 2016, at the American Astronomical Society's annual meeting.
A thick haze hovers over the Indo-Gangetic Plain, from northern India, left, hugging the Himalayan range and down into the Bay of Bengal at bottom right, in this Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, image from NASA's Terra satellite. Air quality in northern India traditionally worsens in winter as the cooler air and fog traps pollutants and people start lighting fires, coupled with year-round pollution causes such as vehicle traffic. NASA said the haze likely resulted from a "combination of urban and industrial pollution, agricultural and cooking fires, and a meteorological phenomenon known as a temperature inversion."
An image released by the European Space Agency and NASA on Dec. 9, 2015, shows an artist's impression of the 10 hot Jupiter exoplanets, from top left, clockwise, WASP-12b, WASP-6b, WASP-31b, WASP-39b, HD 189733b, HAT-P-12b, WASP-17b, WASP-19b, HAT-P-1b and HD 209458b, studied by David Sing and his colleagues. The images are to scale with each other. HAT-P-12b, the smallest of them, is approximately the size of Jupiter, while WASP-17b, the largest planet in the sample, is almost twice the size. The planets are also depicted with a variety of different cloud properties. There is almost no information about the colors of the planets available, with the exception of HD 189733b, which became known as the blue planet. The hottest planets within the sample are portrayed with a glowing night side. This effect is strongest on WASP-12b, the hottest exoplanet in the sample, but is also visible on WASP-19b and WASP-17b.
This NASA image released Friday, Dec. 18, 2015, shows what NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter recently captured in a view of Earth from the spacecraft's vantage point in orbit around the moon. In this composite image we see Earth appear to rise over the lunar horizon from the viewpoint of the spacecraft, with the center of the Earth just off the coast of Liberia. The large tan area in the upper right is the Sahara Desert, and just beyond is Saudi Arabia. The Atlantic and Pacific coasts of South America are visible to the left. On the moon, we get a glimpse of the crater Compton, which is located just beyond the eastern limb of the moon, on the lunar farside. This image was composed from a series of images taken Oct. 12 when the orbiter was about 83 miles above the crater Compton.
This Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, image provided by NASA shows Saturn's moon Enceladus, center, as the Cassini spacecraft prepared to make a close flyby of the icy moon. A portion of the planet's ring is at right.
The moon Enceladus orbits the planet Saturn in this July 27, 2015, photo made by the Cassini spacecraft. To the north, top, the terrain is covered in impact craters, much like other icy moons, but to the south, the record of impact cratering is much more sparse, and instead the land is covered in fractures and long, linear features. The image was taken in visible green light at a distance of about 70,000 miles from Enceladus.
This photo taken by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft shows images of Charon, the largest of Pluto's five moons, representing one full rotation during an unprecedented flyby in July 2015. The space agency released the series of 10 close-ups on Nov. 20, 2015. Charon, like Pluto, rotates once every 6.4 Earth days.
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly captured views of the aurora borealis over Earth while aboard the International Space Station on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015.
Recurring slope lineae flowing downhill on Mars are inferred to have been formed by contemporary flowing water, scientists said on Monday, Sept. 28, 2015.
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft captured this image of Pluto's icy mountains and plains on Tuesday, July 14, 2015.
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly photographed the Nile River during a nighttime flyover aboard the International Space Station on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015.
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has unveiled part of the Veil Nebula, the remains of a massive star that exploded about 8,000 years ago.
This July 15, 2015, image made available by NASA on Friday, July 24, 2015, shows the atmosphere of Pluto backlit by the sun when the New Horizons spacecraft was about 1.25 million miles away. The image, delivered to Earth on Thursday, is displayed with north at the top of the frame.
This Monday, July 13, 2015, image provided by NASA shows Pluto from the New Horizons spacecraft. The United States is now the only nation to visit every planet in the solar system. Pluto was No. 9 in the lineup when New Horizons departed Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Jan. 19, 2006.
This artist's rendering released by NASA on Thursday, July 23, 2015, shows a comparison of the Earth, left, and the planet Kepler-452b. It is the first near-Earth-size planet orbiting in the habitable zone of a sun-like star, found using data from NASA's Kepler mission. The illustration represents one possible appearance for the exoplanet -- scientists do not know whether the it has oceans and continents like Earth.
NASA on Monday, July 20, 2015, released this photo of the entire sunlit side of Earth as seen from 1 million miles away. The July 6 image was taken by a NASA camera on the Deep Space Climate Observatory satellite. NASA's Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera combined three photos to generate this image of North and Central America.
This photo was taken by an instrument on Rosetta's Philae lander during its descent to the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014. Hundreds of millions of miles from Earth, the European spacecraft made history Wednesday by successfully landing on the icy, dusty surface of a speeding comet.
This image made by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the entire Crab Nebula.
This image shows Barnard 33, the Horsehead Nebula, in the constellation of Orion (The Hunter).
This image shows Messier 57, the Ring Nebula.
This image shows jets of gas heated to nearly 20,000 degrees Celsius traveling at more than 590,000 mph streaming from the dying star NGC 6302, the "Butterfly Nebula" in the Milky Way galaxy.
This infrared image shows part of NGC 2174, the Monkey Head Nebula.
This image shows the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1300. It is considered to be prototypical of barred spiral galaxies.
This image shows NGC 6543, the Cat's Eye Nebula. A planetary nebula forms when sun-like stars gently eject their outer gaseous layers that form bright nebulae.
This image shows NGC 4526. One of the brightest lenticular galaxies known, it has hosted two known supernova explosions, one in 1969 and another in 1994, and is known to have a supermassive black hole at its center with a mass of 450 million suns.
This image shows the Orion Nebula and the process of star formation, from the massive, young stars that are shaping the nebula to the pillars of dense gas that may be the homes of budding stars.
This image shows the star cluster Pismis 24 in the core of the large emission nebula NGC 6357. Part of the nebula is ionized by the youngest (bluest) heavy stars emitting intense ultraviolet radiation, heating the gas surrounding the cluster and creating a bubble in NGC 6357.
This image shows the tattered remains of a supernova explosion known as Cassiopeia A. It is the youngest known remnant from a supernova explosion in the Milky Way.
This January 2005 image made by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) and a companion galaxy. The Whirlpool's two curving arms are star-formation factories, compressing hydrogen gas and creating clusters of new stars.
This image shows nearly 10,000 galaxies in the deepest visible-light image of the cosmos, cutting across billions of light-years.
This image shows a tower of cold gas and dust rising from a stellar nursery called the Eagle Nebula. The soaring tower is 9.5 light-years high, about twice the distance from our sun to the next nearest star.
This image shows galaxy UGC 10214 with a long streamer of stars. Its distorted shape was caused by another galaxy passing nearby.
This image shows the tendrils of a dark interstellar cloud being destroyed by the passage of one of the brightest stars in the Pleiades star cluster.
This image shows the Eagle Nebula's "Pillars of Creation." The dust and gas in the pillars is seared by the intense radiation from young stars and eroded by strong winds from massive nearby stars.
This image shows a group of five galaxies known as Stephan's Quintet.
This image shows Abell 1703, comprising more than 100 different galaxies whose collective mass acts as a gravitational lens. The massive galaxy cluster, about 3 billion light-years from Earth, bends the light rays of galaxies behind it, stretching their images into multiple arcs.
This image shows the tip of the 3-light-year-long pillar in a stellar nursery called the Carina Nebula, located 7,500 light-years away from Earth. Composed of gas and dust, the structure is illuminated by light from hot, massive stars off the top of the image.
This image shows M66, the largest of the Leo Triplet galaxies. It has asymmetrical spiral arms and an apparently displaced core most likely caused by the gravitational pull of the other two members of the trio.
This February 2010 image made by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows a 3-light-year-tall pillar of gas and dust in the Carina Nebula being eaten away by light from nearby bright stars. Inside, infant stars fire off jets of gas, seen streaming from towering peaks. The colors signal the presence of oxygen (blue), hydrogen and nitrogen (green), and sulfur (red).
This image shows jets of gas heated to nearly 20,000 degrees Celsius traveling at more than 590,000 mph streaming from the dying star NGC 6302, the "Butterfly Nebula" in the Milky Way galaxy.
A cropped photo captured with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and released on Jan. 6, 2015, shows the largest and sharpest image ever taken of the Andromeda galaxy.
The Antennae galaxies collide, creating billions of new stars, in this Hubble Space Telescope image.
This image shows nebula VdB 152, which is nearly 1,400 light-years away in the royal constellation Cepheus.
The Hubble Space Telescope photographs Messier 104 (M104), the Sombrero Galaxy, from 50 million light-years away.
These pillar-like structures are columns of cool interstellar hydrogen gas and dust that are incubators for new stars.
The Hubble eXtreme Deep Field image is the deepest image of the universe ever produced, revealing about 5,500 galaxies and several of the most distant objects ever identified.
The Hubble Space Telescope captures the giant orange moon Titan and white icy moons Enceladus, Dione and Mimas passing in front of Saturn.
The Milky Way and other galaxies in the universe harbor many young star clusters and associations that each contain hundreds to thousands of hot, massive, young stars.
NASA on March 18, 2014, released this photo, described as the largest high-resolution mosaic of our moon's north polar region ever created by scientists, using cameras aboard NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. The images, which are six-and-a-half feet per pixel, cover an area equal to more than a quarter of the United States.
In this image provided by NASA, the SpaceX Dragon commercial cargo craft is grappled by the Canadarm2 robotic arm at the International Space Station.
This undated image downloaded from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) website shows a never-before-seen spiral structure in the material around the old star, R Sculptoris.
This handout image by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) shows the globular cluster NGC 6362, a brilliant ball of ancient stars that lies in the southern constellation of Ara.
Eagle, the Apollo 11 lunar lander and first to land on the moon, in orbit after separating from the command module, Columbia.
Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system -- larger than all the other planets combined -- photographed by NASA's Cassini spacecraft with moon Europa casting a shadow.
Jupiter's Great Red Spot, a storm 2-3 times larger than the Earth itself, as seen from the Voyager 1 spacecraft.
The sun sets on Gusev crater, as seen from NASA's Spirit Rover on Mars.
The Blue Marble Earth montage, created over four orbits around the Earth by the Suomi NPP satellite.
This undated image by the Voyager 1 spacecraft demonstrates the extreme volcanic activity of Jupiter's moon, Io, the most volcanically active object in the solar system and fourth-largest moon.
The Crab Nebula, photographed by the Very Large Telescope in Chile, is the result of a star that Chinese and possibly Indian astronomers observed exploding in 1054 A.D.
An undated image of the asteroid Vesta taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft.
A piece of the sun's outer layer, the corona, ejects into space.