Research Group
Science & Engineering
Internet Catch










Best of Hubble

Hourglass Nebula

This image shows a planetary nebula. A sun-like star has undergone "death tremors" at the end of its life. The star had difficulty in getting enough fuel to keep up its nuclear furnace, and has now shed off some of its surface material in two directions.

The Helix Nebula

A doomed star in the center of the Helix nebula (outside the image in the direction of the upper right corner), is spewing out hot gas and energetic radiation. Collisions with colder gas creates dense knots with long comet-like tails. The colder gas has been ejected from the dying star some 10.000 years ago.

The Eta Carinae Nebula

The massive star Eta Carinae (almost hidden in the center) underwent a giant explosion some 150 years ago. The outburst spread the material that is visible today in this very sharp Hubble image.

Black Hole Surroundings

At the center of a galaxy a black hole is peeping out over the edge of a swirling dusty disk.Here all kinds of material - dust, gas and even stars - are steadily falling into the violent black hole, thereby creating a blaze of energetic ultraviolet light (coloured blue in the picture).

Saturn - the Ringed Planet

The ring swirling around Saturn consists of chunks of ice and dust.Saturn itself is made of ammonia ice and methane gas. The little dark spot on Saturn is the shadow from Saturn's moon Enceladus.

The Ring Nebula - M57

One of the most famous of all planetary nebulae. A dying star has thrown off some of its outer material thousands of years ago. The nebula is situated 2.000 light years away in the constellation Lyra.

Hodge 301 in the Tarantula Nebula

The star cluster Hodge 301 is an old cluster. Many of its stars have already exploded as supernovae. The filaments in the upper left corner have been compressed by the explosions of these stars. Elsewhere in the picture news stars are being born.

Jupiter and the Shadow of Io

Jupiter's moon Io and its shadow are hurling across the face of the biggest planet in our Solar System. Io itself is a very interesting moon, well known for its many active volcanoes.

NGC 2440

NGC 2440 is a planetary nebula ejected by a dying star. The nebula is rich in clouds of dust, some of which form long, dark streaks pointing away from the central star. In addition to the bright nebula seen here, NGC 2440 is surrounded by a much larger cloud of cooler gas.

The Trifid Nebula

Massive newborn stars are creating in this dramatic torn apart image of the Trifid Nebula.The Trifid Nebula is home to many thousands of newly created stars. The source of the jet is a young very hot star buried in the cloud.

The Eagle Nebula, M16

These columns that resemble stalagmites protruding from the floor of a cavern columns arein fact cool interstellar hydrogen gas and dust that act as incubators for new stars. Inside them and on their surface astronomers have found knots or globules of denser gas. These are called EGGs (acronym for "Evaporating Gaseous Globules"). Inside at least some of the EGGs stars being formed.

The Orion Nebula

A stunning picture of the most famous stellar factory. In the Orion Nebula hundreds of stars are being born, or are in the early stages of their infancy. Most fascinating is the discovery of small planetary systems being formed around some of the stars in this nebula.


At a distance of 87 million kilometres Hubble has captured this sharp image of our neighbouring planet in the Solar System. The red colour of the martian surface is due to 'rusted' iron-composites.



Antennae Galaxies Colliding

Two galaxies are colliding in a massive clash. The shock from the collision is creating thousands of new bright star clusters seen as blue spots all over the picture. The centres of the two galaxies are orange due to the older, cooler - and thus more red - stars there.


Spiral Galaxy NGC 4414

This magnificent image of a spiral galaxy shows how these galaxies have central regions containing older and more red and yellow stars. In the spiral arms, stars are being born all the time, and therefore these arms contain more blue stars - and also large amounts of dust.


NGC 3603

The very energetic radiation from young hot stars in the star cluster NGC 3603 is bursting into colder gas and dust making the gas glow. The radiation from the stars has blown a "bubble" around the cluster free from gas.

These pictures were taken from