15 of the Best Photos From the Hubble Space Telescope For Its 30th Birthday

The Hubble Space Telescope turns 30 today, here are some of the best images it has ever captured.
Christopher McFadden
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The Hubble Space Telescope was first launched into space on the 24th of April 1990. Since that fateful day, the images it has sent back to Earth have been truly awe-inspiring.

From far off galaxies to exploding stars, the space photography catalog of this technological treasure has expanded our knowledge of the universe incalculably. In celebration of its 30th anniversary, here are some of the amazing images the telescope has captured throughout its existence. 


What are some cool photos of space from the Hubble Space Telescope?

And so, without further ado here are some interesting examples of space photography from the Hubble Space Telescope. This list is far from exhaustive and is in no particular order.

1. This is one very cool Hubble image

Taken in 2018 by the Hubble Space Telescope, this image of the center of the Lagoon Nebula is, quite simply, breathtaking. The nebula is around a vast stellar nursery that is located around 4,000 light-years away from Earth. 

The image was taken on the telescope's 28th anniversary. 

2. This image of the Bubble Nebula is also amazing to see

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#Hubble30 (2016) The Hubble Space Telescope captured this image of an enormous bubble being blown into space by a super-hot, massive star. The Bubble Nebula, or NGC 7635, is 7 light-years across — about one-and-a-half times the distance from our Sun to its nearest stellar neighbor, Alpha Centauri. The seething star forming this nebula is 45 times more massive than our Sun. Gas on the star gets so hot that it escapes away into space as a "stellar wind" moving at over 4 million miles per hour. This outflow sweeps up the cold, interstellar gas in front of it, forming the outer edge of the bubble much like a snowplow piles up snow in front of it as it moves forward. As the surface of the bubble's shell expands outward, it slams into dense regions of cold gas on one side of the bubble. This asymmetry makes the star appear dramatically off-center from the bubble, with its location in the 10 o'clock position in the Hubble view. Dense pillars of cool hydrogen gas laced with dust appear at the upper left of the picture, and more "fingers" can be seen nearly face-on, behind the translucent bubble. This Hubble image of the Bubble Nebula was chosen to mark the 26th anniversary of the launch of Hubble into orbit on April 24, 1990. For more information please follow the link in our bio. Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

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Here is another stunning image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. This time the telescope managed to zero in on the Bubble Nebula, a nebula about 7 light-years away from us. 

3. The Horseshoe Nebula is quite photogenic we must say

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#Hubble30 (2013) In this Hubble Space Telescope view, the Horsehead Nebula, a popular target for amateur astronomers, appears in infrared wavelengths. The nebula, shadowy in optical light, appears transparent and ethereal when seen in the infrared, represented here with visible shades. The rich tapestry of the Horsehead Nebula pops out against the backdrop of Milky Way stars and distant galaxies that are easily seen in infrared light. The backlit wisps along the Horsehead's upper ridge are being illuminated by Sigma Orionis, a young five-star system just off the top of the Hubble image. A harsh ultraviolet glare from one of these bright stars is slowly evaporating the nebula. Along the nebula's top ridge, two fledgling stars peek out from their now-exposed nurseries. Gas clouds surrounding the Horsehead have already dissipated, but the tip of the jutting pillar contains a slightly higher density of hydrogen and helium, laced with dust. This casts a shadow that protects material behind it from being photo-evaporated, and a pillar structure forms. Astronomers estimate that the Horsehead formation has about five million years left before it too disintegrates. For more information, follow the link in our bio. Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

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Here is yet another amazing image of space taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. A popular target for many a budding and professional astronomer, the nebula is very stunning to look at.

4. An amazing Hubble image full of stars

 This image shows a massive cluster of around 3,000 stars within a stellar nursery called the "Westerlund 2".

5. The Monkey Head Nebula doesn't look real

This amazing Hubble Space Telescope image of the so-called Monkey Head Nebula. This enormous gathering of massive baby stars can be found around 6,400 light-years from Earth. 

6. Arp 273 "Galactic Rose" is a sight for sore eyes indeed

If you needed any more inspiration to grab yourself a telescope and start stargazing, then this Hubble image of the "Galactic Rose" is all the excuse you'll ever need. This image actually shows two galaxies that are thought to have passed through one another. 

7. This beautiful Hubble image is of the Carina Nebula

Captured in 2007, this stunning Hubble image is of the Carina Nebula. The nebula is around 300 light-years across and is 7,500 light-years away, give or take. 

8. Here is an image of an exploded star

Released in the year 2000, this amazing image of NGC 6751 beautifully demonstrates the remnants of a star that exploded several thousand years ago. The entire gas cloud is around 1 light-year across. 

9. This Hubble image of Barnard's Merope Nebula is very spooky indeed

This amazing Hubble image of the interstellar cloud being destroyed by the star Merope clearly illustrates the dynamic nature of space. It really does show the true power of nature. 

10. This is what Jupiter's auroras look like

This amazing Hubble image managed to capture Jupiter's amazing auroras

11. Hubble's image of the Southern Crab Nebula is amazing

 The Southern Crab Nebula might be one of the most amazing Hubble images ever captured. 

12. The Veil Nebula really is something out of this world

 Check out this image of the Veil Nebula.

13. This is a great Hubble image

 This amazing Hubble image is of the Cepheid variable star RS Puppis

14. The Orion Nebula is really beautiful

 This image of the Orion Nebula would make a great wallpaper for your computer. 

15. Here is another stunning show-stopper from Hubble 

And finally, this amazing Hubble image of V838 Monocerotis is really cool.

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