Using ESO's Very Large Telescope, an international team of astronomers has discovered a stunning rare case of a triple merger of galaxies. This system, which astronomers have dubbed 'The Bird' - albeit it also bears resemblance with a cosmic Tinker Bell - is composed of two massive spiral galaxies and a third irregular galaxy.
A perfect 10 for the Hubble Space Telescope! This once-in-a-lifetime image shows a pair of gravitationally interacting galaxies called Arp 147. The galaxy on the left, or the "one", is relatively undisturbed, whereas the galaxy on the right, or the "zero", is a messy ring of intense star formation. Image credit: NASA, ESA and M. Livio (STScI)
Nasa marks 50 years of space photography - in pictures
A dying star throws a cosmic tantrum in this combined image from Nasa's Spitzer Space Telescope and the Galaxy Evolution Explorer. The star's dusty outer layers are unraveling into space, glowing from the intense ultraviolet radiation being pumped out by the hot stellar core. This object, called the Helix nebula, lies 650 light years away in the constellation of Aquarius
This Hubble Space Telescope (HST) image reveals a pair of one-half light-year long interstellar 'twisters' - eerie funnels and twisted-rope structures - in the heart of the Lagoon Nebula (Messier 8) which lies 5,000 light-years away in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius.