Links to Current NASA Missions

Hubble Space Telescope
The Hubble Space Telescope is an integral part of NASA's Origins Program, which is designed to aid us in obtaining knowledge of our cosmic roots. Throughout its first decade, Hubble has maintained a standard of excellence in exploring the development of space and human enterprise, researching and developing advanced technologies, and advancing and communicating scientific knowledge.

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Carina Nebula
Photo courtesy of NASA/NSSDC
When 19th century astronomer Sir John Herschel spied a swirling cloud of gas with a hole punched through it, he dubbed it the Keyhole Nebula. Now the Hubble telescope has taken a peek at this region, and the resulting image reveals previously unseen details of the Keyhole's mysterious, complex structure. The Keyhole is part of a larger region called the Carina Nebula (NGC 3372), about 8,000 light-years from Earth.

The Eskimo Nebula
Photo courtesy of NASA/Hubble Heritage Team
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured a majestic view of a planetary nebula, the glowing remains of a dying, Sun-like star. This stellar relic, first spied by William Herschel in 1787, is nicknamed the "Eskimo" Nebula (NGC 2392) because, when viewed through ground-based telescopes, it resembles a face surrounded by a fur parka.

Galaxy NGC 3949
Photo courtesy of NASA/Hubble Heritage Team
Like our Milky Way, this galaxy has a blue disk of young stars peppered with bright pink star-birth regions. In contrast to the blue disk, the bright central bulge is made up of mostly older, redder stars.

Galaxy NGC 4314
Photo courtesy of NASA/Hubble Heritage Team
This image, shows Hubble's close-up view of the galaxy's core, taken in December 1995 by the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. The bluish-purple clumps that form the ring are the clusters of infant stars. Two dark, wispy lanes of dust and a pair of blue spiral arms are just outside the star-forming ring. The lanes of dust are being shepherded into the ring by the longer, primary stellar bar seen in the ground-based image. The gas is trapped inside the ring through the stars' gravitational attraction.

Galaxy NGC 253
Photo courtesy of NASA/Hubble Heritage Team
NGC 253 is a large, almost edge-on spiral galaxy, and is one of the nearest galaxies beyond our local neighborhood of galaxies. This dramatic galaxy shows complex structures such as clumpy gas clouds, darkened dust lanes, and young, luminous central star clusters. These elements are typical of spiral galaxies. Caroline Herschel discovered NGC 253 in 1783 while looking for comets. The galaxy's closeness to Earth makes it an ideal target for amateur astronomers who can see the southern sky and for astronomers interested in learning more about the makeup of these stunning cities of stars.

Galaxy NGC 1512
Photo courtesy of NASA/Hubble Heritage Team
In this view of the center of the magnificent barred spiral galaxy NGC 1512, NASA Hubble Space Telescope's broad spectral vision reveals the galaxy at all wavelengths from ultraviolet to infrared. The colors (which indicate differences in light intensity) map where newly born star clusters exist in both "dusty" and "clean" regions of the galaxy.


For more information, see the Hubble Space Telescope homepage, or the