Pictures taken by the Hubble Space Telescope as presented by: GigaPica

The Hubble Space Telescope was deployed from the Space shuttle Discovery during STS-31 on April 25, 1990. Since then, there have been 5 servicing missions that continued to upgrade the telescope's scientific instruments and operational systems. Hubble reached a major milestone, its 20th anniversary in orbit, on April 24, 2010. Hubble imagery has both delighted and amazed people around the world and has rewritten astronomy textbooks with its discoveries. This image released by NASA shows colliding galaxies seen in the early stages of their interaction. The edge-on galaxy near the top of the image is VV 340 North and the face-on galaxy at the bottom of the image is VV 340 South. Millions of years later these two spirals will merge -- much like the Milky Way and Andromeda will likely do billions of years from now. Data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory (purple) are shown here along with optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope (red, green, blue). VV 340 is located about 450 million light years from Earth. A small portion of one of the largest seen star-birth regions in the galaxy, the Carina Nebula. Towers of cool hydrogen laced with dust rise from the wall of the nebula. Reminiscent of Hubble's classic image of the Eagle Nebula dubbed the 'Pillars of Creation' this image is even more striking in appearance. Captured here are the top of a three-light-year-tall pillar of gas and the dust that is being eaten away by the brilliant light from nearby bright stars. The pillar is also being pushed apart from within, as infant stars buried inside it fire off jets of gas that can be seen streaming from towering peaks like arrows sailing through the air.

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view Pictures taken by the Hubble Space Telescope as presented by: GigaPica



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