The legendary Hubble Space Telescope is set to be decommissioned in 2010. While the new telescope on the station, set to launch only a year later, will be far more advanced, many astronomy fanatics will always remember the Hubble as a source of great joy, and sometimes, frustration. In tribute, here are the top ten shots taken, or contributed to, by the Hubble Telescope.
10. Shot on May 11, 2002, this anomaly, called the Cone Nebula, is a seven light-year long pillar residing in a violent nebula where many new stars are being born.
9. This shot of the Cat’s Eye Nebula shows a super-hot region of gas radiating X-rays. The large amount of chemicals in the gas are believed to come from the central star.
8. This photo was released on Hubble’s 15th anniversary. The Whirlpool Galaxy contains a major interesting feature: a companion galaxy at the end of one of the arms.
7. This image of the Eskimo Nebula was taken shortly after the Hubble underwent repairs in 1999. The nebula is the result of a dying star.
6. This photo is of an area known as the Omega or Swan Nebula. The waves of ultraviolet radiation are a result of massive young stars located just out of the picture.
5. On April 1, 1995, Hubble took this photo of the Eagle Nebula. The columns are formed by cool hydrogen gas and dust where new stars are born.
4. Although it looks as if two massive objects are colliding, the opposite is actually true. Called the Ant Nebula, the effect is caused by the massive emissions of a dying star in the center.
3. An object we take for granted, the Sun, still has the ability to dazzle us when seen from a different perspective. Here, huge arcs of gas are visible on the surface.
2. This photo of the Sombrero Galaxy was taken in 2003. As seen from Earth, the galaxy is nearly edge-on. The dark edge is comprised on star material within the spiral structure.
1. This image, taken February 8, 2004, is of a distant star named V838 Monocerotis. Although it looks like a painting, this image highlights how beautiful and amazing the galaxy around us really is.