Tack till Earthgirl och Christopher på OV för denna artikel. Med tid kanske vi kan få till den på svenska också, i vilket fall, håll till godo med fantastiska bilder.

In January 2002, a dull star in an obscure constellation suddenly became 600,000 times more luminous than our Sun, temporarily making it the brightest star in our galaxy. The star, called V838 Monocerotis, has long since faded back to obscurity, but observations of a phenomenon called a "light echo" around the star have uncovered remarkable new features over the following years (this animation covers two years' time). The light echo is light from the earlier explosion echoing off dust surrounding the star. Light from the outburst traveled to the dust and then was reflected to Earth. Because of this indirect path, the light arrived at Earth months after light from the star that travelled directly from the star. (NASA, ESA)

In early January of 2000, Hubble took this image of Galaxy Cluster Abell 2218, and its massive amount of "gravitational lensing". Abell 2218 lies some 2 billion light-years away in the Draco constellation and is so massive that its enormous gravitational field deflects light rays passing through it, much as an optical lens bends light to form an image. These magnifying powers provides a powerful "zoom lens" for viewing distant galaxies that could not normally be observed with the largest telescopes. The visible "arcs" are the distorted images of very distant galaxies, which lie 5 to 10 times farther away than the lensing cluster itself. (NASA, Andrew Fruchter and the ERO Team, STScI)

About 55 million years ago, a star near the dusty lenticular galaxy NGC 4526 exploded into a supernova, seen as a bright spot at lower left. In 1994, the Hubble Space telescope caught the weeks-long explosion as the light from it finally reached the Earth, and we called it Supernova 1994D, a fairly typical stellar explosion. The host galaxy also known as the Lost Galaxy lies in the background and is part of the Virgo Cluster. (NASA, ESA)

Also around 55 million light-years distant, we see here the colliding Antennae Galaxies (NGC 4038/NGC 4039) - a pair of interacting galaxies that lie in the constellation Corvus. The two spiral galaxies started to fuse together a few hundred million years ago making the Antenna galaxies the nearest and youngest example of a pair of colliding galaxies. Nearly half of the faint objects in the Antennae are young clusters containing tens of thousands of stars. (NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team)

This image, taken by the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), represents a small section of a larger mosaic - the sharpest view ever taken of the Orion Nebula - a picture book of star formation with massive young stars that are shaping the nebula and pillars of dense gas that may be the homes of budding stars. The bright glow at left is from M43, a small region being shaped by ultraviolet light from a massive young star. Astronomers call the region a miniature Orion Nebula because only one star is sculpting the landscape. The Orion Nebula has four such stars. The Orion Nebula is 1,500 light-years away, the nearest star-forming region to Earth. (NASA, ESA, M. Robberto - STScI)

A nearly perfect ring of hot, blue stars pinwheels about the yellow nucleus of an unusual galaxy known as Hoag's Object. This image captures a face-on view of the galaxy's ring of stars, revealing more detail than any existing photo of this object. The entire galaxy is about 120,000 light-years wide, which is slightly larger than our Milky Way Galaxy. The blue ring, which is dominated by clusters of young, massive stars, contrasts sharply with the yellow nucleus of mostly older stars. What appears to be a gap separating the two stellar populations may actually contain some star clusters that are almost too faint to see. Curiously, an object that bears an uncanny resemblance to Hoag's Object can be seen in the gap at the one o'clock position. The object is probably a background ring galaxy. (NASA/ESA and The Hubble Heritage Team, STScI/AURA)

Called I Zwicky 18, this galaxy - some 59 million light-years distant - has a youthful appearance that resembles galaxies typically found only in the early universe. Hubble has now found faint, older stars within this galaxy, suggesting that the galaxy may have formed at the same time as most other galaxies. I Zwicky 18 is classified as a dwarf irregular galaxy and is much smaller than our Milky Way Galaxy. The concentrated bluish-white knots embedded in the heart of the galaxy are two major starburst regions where stars are forming at a furious rate. The wispy blue filaments surrounding the central starburst regions are bubbles of gas that have been blown away by stellar winds and supernovae explosions from a previous generation of hot, young stars. A companion galaxy lies just above and to the left and may be interacting with I Zwicky 18. (NASA, ESA, and A. Aloisi STScI)

Just weeks after NASA astronauts repaired the Hubble Space Telescope in December 1999, the Hubble Heritage Project snapped this picture of NGC 1999, a nebula some 1,500 light-years away from Earth, in the constellation Orion. The Hubble Heritage astronomers, in collaboration with scientists in Texas and Ireland, used Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) to obtain this colour image. (NASA/ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team - STScI)

This image of the ancient open star cluster NGC 6791 was taken in early 2008. Studying the dimmest stars in the cluster, astronomers uncovered three different age groups of stars. Two of the populations are burned-out stars called white dwarfs. One group of these low-wattage stellar remnants appears to be 6 billion years old, another appears to be 4 billion years old. The ages are problematically out of sync with those of the cluster's normal stars, which are 8 billion years old. Located 13,300 light-years away in the constellation Lyra, NGC 6791 is one of the oldest and largest open clusters known, containing roughly 10,000 stars. Also interesting to note are the numerous distant galaxies far beyond our Milky Way Galaxy that are visible between the crowded mass of stars. (NASA, ESA, and L. Bedin, STScI)

This object is a billowing tower of cold gas and dust rising from a stellar nursery called the Eagle Nebula. 7,000 light-years distant from us, the soaring tower is 9.5 light-years or about 90 trillion kilometers tall. Stars in the Eagle Nebula are born in clouds of cold hydrogen gas that reside in chaotic neighbourhoods, where energy from young stars sculpts fantasy-like landscapes in the gas. The tower may be a giant incubator for those newborn stars. A torrent of ultraviolet light from a band of massive, hot, young stars [off the top of the image] is eroding the pillar. The column is silhouetted against the background glow of more distant gas. The bumps and fingers of material in the center of the tower are examples of stellar birthing areas. These regions may look small but they are roughly the size of our solar system. The blue colour at the top is from glowing oxygen, the red color in the lower region is from glowing hydrogen. This image was taken in November 2004 with the Advanced Camera for Surveys (NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team STScI/AURA)

This is the sharpest image ever made of the large "grand design" spiral galaxy M81, or Bode's Galaxy made with Hubble data acquired over a two-year period. A spiral-shaped system of stars, dust, and gas clouds, the galaxy's arms wind all the way down into the nucleus. Though the galaxy is located 11.6 million light-years away, the Hubble Space Telescope's view is so sharp that it can resolve individual stars, along with open star clusters, globular star clusters, and even glowing regions of fluorescent gas. Bode's galaxy is about 70,000 light-years across - slightly smaller than our own Milky Way, estimated to be 100,000 light-years in diameter. (NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team STScI/AURA)

The "Retina Nebula" is in fact, a dying star named IC 4406. The left and right halves of the Hubble image are nearly mirror images of the other. If we could fly around IC 4406 in a starship, we would see that the gas and dust form a vast donut of material streaming outward from the dying star. From Earth, we are viewing the donut from the side. This side view allows us to see the intricate tendrils of dust that have been compared to the eye's retina. Gas on the inside of the donut is ionized by light from the central star and glows brightly. Light from oxygen atoms is rendered blue in this image; hydrogen is shown as green, and nitrogen as red. One of the most interesting features here is the irregular lattice of dark lanes that criss-cross the center of the nebula. These lanes are about 24 billion kilometers wide, and are like an open mesh veil that has been wrapped around the bright donut. (NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team - STScI/AURA)

This image shows a handful of Bok globules (dark clouds of dense dust and gas) within a larger mosaic image of the Carina Nebula assembled in April of 2007. The clumps of dark clouds are nodules of dust and gas that have resisted being completely photoionized by the strong ultraviolet radiation of nearby young, bright stars. The globule at right is nicknamed "the caterpillar" - its glowing edge indicating that it is in the process of photoionization by the hottest stars in the cluster. the Carina nebula lies some 7,500 light-years away from Earth. (NASA, ESA, N. Smith - UC Berkeley, and The Hubble Heritage Team STScI/AURA)

Resembling a rippling pool illuminated by underwater lights, the Egg Nebula offers astronomers a special look at the normally invisible dust shells swaddling an aging star. These dust layers, extending over one-tenth of a light-year from the star, have an onionskin structure that forms concentric rings around the star. A thicker dust belt, running almost vertically through the image, blocks off light from the central star. Twin beams of light radiate from the hidden star and illuminate the pitch-black dust, like a shining flashlight in a smoky room. The Egg Nebula is located 3,000 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus. This image was taken with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys in September and October 2002. (NASA/ESA and The Hubble Heritage Team STScI/AURA)

The gas giant Saturn, seen at full-tilt in November of 1999. Saturn's orbit lies some 1.2 billion kilometers (about 67 light-minutes) away from earth. The planet itself is roughly 9.5 times wider than Earth and its rings - composed of 93 percent water ice - extend out to 120,000 km above its equator, averaging approximately 20 meters in thickness. (NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team STScI/AURA)

The tattered remains of a supernova explosion known as Cassiopeia A (Cas A), the youngest known remnant from a supernova explosion in the Milky Way. This composite image shows the Cas A remnant as a broken ring of bright filamentary and clumpy stellar ejecta. These huge swirls of debris glow with the heat generated by the passage of a shockwave from the supernova blast. The various colours of the gaseous shards indicate differences in chemical composition. Bright green filaments are rich in oxygen, red and purple are sulphur, and blue are composed mostly of hydrogen and nitrogen. Cas A is located ten thousand light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Cassiopeia. (NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team STScI/AURA)

"The Grasshopper", or UGC 4881, is a stunning system consisting of two colliding galaxies. It has a bright curly tail containing a remarkable number of star clusters. The galaxies are thought to be halfway through a merger - the cores of the parent galaxies are still clearly separated, but their discs are overlapping. A supernova exploded in this system in 1999 and astronomers believe that a vigorous burst of star formation may have just started. This notable object is located in the constellation of Lynx, some 500 million light-years away from Earth. UGC 4881 is the 55th galaxy in Arp's Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies. This image is part of a large collection of 59 images of merging galaxies taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and released on the occasion of its 18th anniversary on April 24th, 2008. (NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team STScI/AURA and A. Evans, University of Virginia, Charlottesville/NRAO/Stony Brook University)

Part of the famous "Pillars of Creation" formation in the Eagle Nebula, this eerie, dark structure, resembling an imaginary sea serpent's head, is a column of cool molecular hydrogen gas (two atoms of hydrogen in each molecule) and dust that is an incubator for new stars. The stars are embedded inside finger-like protrusions extending from the top of the nebula. Each 'fingertip' is somewhat larger than our own solar system. The Eagle Nebula is 7,000 light-years distant from Earth. (Jeff Hester and Paul Scowen - ASU, and NASA/ESA)

Tightly wound, almost concentric, arms of dark dust encircle the bright nucleus of the otherwise nondescript galaxy, NGC 2787, in this image created by the Hubble Heritage team. Astronomer Marcella Carollo (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich) and collaborators used Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 to collect the data in January 1999. (NASA/ESA and The Hubble Heritage Team)

This object, nicknamed Gomez's Hamburger, is a sun-like star about 6,500 light-years away that is nearing the end of its life. The "hamburger buns" are light reflecting off dust and the "patty" is actually the shadow of a thick disk around the central star, which is seen edge-on from Earth. The star itself, with a surface temperature of approximately 18,000 degrees Fahrenheit (10,000 degrees Celsius), is hidden within this disk. However, light from the star does emerge in the directions perpendicular to the disk and illuminates dust above and below it. (NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team - STScI/AURA)

Looking across 26,000 light-years of space toward the center of our Galaxy, Hubble captured this dense view of over 150,000 stars in February of 2004 while monitoring for any dips in brightness, or transits of orbiting planets. 16 candidate stars were found for closer scrutiny. (NASA, ESA, K. Sahu - STScI and the SWEEPS science team)

Seen here is a very thin section of a supernova remnant caused by a stellar explosion that occurred more than 1,000 years ago. On or around May 1, 1006 A.D., observers around the world witnessed and recorded the arrival of light from what is now called SN 1006, a tremendous supernova explosion caused by the final death throes of a white dwarf star nearly 7,000 light-years away. The supernova was probably the brightest star ever seen by humans, and surpassed Venus as the brightest object in the night time sky, only to be surpassed by the moon. It was visible even during the day for weeks, and remained visible to the naked eye for at least two and a half years before fading away. Today we know that the shockwave of SN 1006 has a diameter of nearly 60 light-years, and it is still expanding at roughly 6 million miles per hour. (NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team - STScI/AURA)

The Cat's Eye Nebula (NGC 6543), about 3,300 light-years distant, shows a bull's eye pattern of eleven or even more concentric rings, or shells, around the its center. Each "ring" is actually the edge of a spherical bubble seen projected onto the sky - that's why it appears bright along its outer edge. Observations suggest the star ejected its mass in a series of pulses at 1,500-year intervals. These convulsions created dust shells, each of which contain as much mass as all of the planets in our solar system combined (still only one percent of the Sun's mass). The view from Hubble is like seeing an onion cut in half, where each skin layer is discernible. (NASA, ESA, HEIC, and The Hubble Heritage Team - STScI/AURA)

ESO 593-8 is an impressive pair of interacting galaxies with a feather-like galaxy crossing a companion galaxy. The two components will probably merge to form a single galaxy in the future. The pair is adorned with a number of bright blue star clusters. ESO 593-8 is located in the constellation of Sagittarius, the Archer, some 650 million light-years away from Earth. (NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage -STScI/AURA, ESA/Hubble Collaboration, and A. Evans, University of Virginia, Charlottesville/NRAO/Stony Brook University)

This image is called the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, and it is by far my favorite Hubble image. Starting in late 2003, astronomers pointed Hubble at a tiny, relatively empty part of our sky (only a few stars from the Milky Way visible), and created an exposure nearly 12 days long over a four-month period. The result is this amazing image, looking back through time at thousands of galaxies that range from 1 to 13 billion light-years away from Earth. Some 10,000 galaxies were observed in this tiny patch of sky (a tenth the size of the full moon) - each galaxy a home to billions of stars. Go outside tonight, take a ball-point pen with you, and hold it up in front of the night sky at arm's length. The tip of your pen is about 1 millimeter wide, and at arm's length, it would cover the 10,000 galaxies seen in the Ultra Deep Field image. That's how unbelievably massive the visible universe is. By way of comparison, to really put us Earthlings in our place in the Grand Scheme, please have a look at another famous image, the Pale Blue Dot - a photograph taken of the Earth (the tiny pale speck, top center) by Voyager 1 in 1990 from 4 billion miles away (about 6 light-hours). I will finish with the words of astronomer Carl Sagan about this Pale Blue Dot: "That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar", every "supreme leader", every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there - on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam." (NASA/ESA/S. Beckwith - STScI, and The HUDF Team)

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Kommentar av Anneli Sjögren den 1 Oktober 2009 kl. 14.46
TACK för detta skådespel!! Otroligt vackert och spännande!! WOW!!!
Kommentar av Magda den 30 September 2009 kl. 23.29
Wow - vilken magi! Vilken färgprakt! Kaskader av energi... vårt gränslösa kosmos. Man får gåshud...;0)
Kommentar av d.kia den 25 September 2009 kl. 10.34
Underbara bilder så vackert
kan inte engelska så läsa går inte men tack så stort.
Kommentar av Ann-Charlotte Stewart den 25 September 2009 kl. 3.23
jaa, visst är detta makalöst, ja tappar hakan varenda gång jag ser dessa bilder... inser min litenhet. varenda ljusprick är en sol, eller galax,

med oändliga möjligheter till liv,

det finns ju inte en chans att vi skulle kunna vara den enda platsen som välsignats med liv som vårt... vilka möjligheter vi har, vilka äventyr som väntar oss

vi flyyyyger, yippppeeee
Kommentar av Tina "Alma" Elisson den 24 September 2009 kl. 23.22
vackra härliga bilder.........kärleksgnistrande sprakande rymdkramar till er alla.
Kommentar av ljussyster den 24 September 2009 kl. 23.20
wow...Tack för du delar med dej.. känner mig igen som E.T phone home...
Kommentar av Malou Berg den 24 September 2009 kl. 17.48
jag glömde bort att andas medan jag tittade på bilderna
åå så berörande
Jag längtar hem då..
Kommentar av Deva den 24 September 2009 kl. 15.27
WOW! Ryyyyser igenkännande..:D
Vi är nog redan där då o då omedvetet känns det som..
så vackert o bekant..:D
Kommentar av Staffan den 24 September 2009 kl. 15.21
Woow...jaa...detta är den verklighet vi lever i !
Kommentar av Annie Hernach den 24 September 2009 kl. 15.02
WOW! Vi reser dit!
Galaktiska megakramar!

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