In Pictures: Fabulous space photos from NASA’s Hubble telescope

NASA’s Hubble telescope is celebrating 22 years as a space discovery icon

In Pictures: Fabulous space photos from NASA’s Hubble telescope prev next

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This photograph of the coil-shaped Helix Nebula is one of the largest and most detailed celestial images ever made. The composite picture is a seamless blend of ultra-sharp images from Hubble combined with the wide view of the Mosaic Camera on the National Science Foundation's 0.9-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Arizona. The image shows a fine web of filamentary "bicycle-spoke" features embedded in the colorful red and blue ring of gas. At 650 light-years away, the Helix is one of the nearest planetary nebulae to Earth. A planetary nebula is the glowing gas around a dying, Sun-like star. The Helix appears to be round because we are looking at one end of the nebula.

Credit: NASA/REUTERS

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In Pictures: Fabulous space photos from NASA’s Hubble telescope

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