Located 500 million light-years away in the constellation Sculptor, the galaxy looks like a wagon wheel. The galaxy's nucleus is the bright object in the center of the image; the spoke-like structures are wisps of material connecting the nucleus to the outer ring of young stars. The galaxy's unusual configuration was created by a nearly head-on collision with a smaller galaxy about 200 million years ago.
"There are so many chances, so many worlds, pouring down on us. Like most people I take no notice and let them flow away, aeons breaking back into the universes where they were made. We are universes dripping with worlds. All we have to do is choose. " - Jeanette Winterson. Photo: Newly discovered galaxy, SMM J2135-0102
This image of a pair of interacting galaxies called Arp 273 was released to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the launch of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The distorted shape of the larger of the two galaxies shows signs of tidal interactions with the smaller of the two. It is thought that the smaller galaxy has actually passed through the larger one
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)
Planck telescope sends back a postcard of the universe
A mysterious arc of light found behind a distant cluster of galaxies has turned out to be the biggest, brightest and hottest star-forming region ever seen in space. The so-called Lynx Arc is one million times brighter than the well-known Orion Nebula, a nearby prototypical 'starbirth' region visible with small telescopes. The newly identified super-cluster contains a million blue-white stars that are twice as hot as similar stars in our Milky Way galaxy.
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