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Explore Messier 96, Galaxy Messier and more!

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows Messier 96, a spiral galaxy just over 35 million light-years away in the constellation of Leo. [Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA and the LEGUS Team] 9/8/15

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Omega Nebula ~ Sculpted by stellar winds and radiation, the star factory also known as Messier 17 lies some 5,500 light-years away in the nebula-rich constellation Sagittarius. The sharp, composite, color image shows faint details of the region's gas and dust clouds against a backdrop of central Milky Way stars. (Subaru Telescope (NAOJ), Hubble Space Telescope)

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Dust lanes seem to swirl around the core of Messier 96 in this colorful, detailed portrait of the beautiful island universe. Of course M96 is a spiral galaxy, and counting the faint arms extending beyond the brighter central region it spans 100 thousand light-years or so, about the size of our own Milky Way.

(September 27, 1995) This NASA Hubble Space Telescope (HST) image reveals a pair of one-half light-year long interstellar "twisters," eerie funnels and twisted-rope structures in the heart of the Lagoon Nebula (Messier 8) which lies 5,000 light-years away in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius. The central hot star, O Herschel 36 (lower right), is the primary source of the ionizing radiation for the brightest region in the nebula, called the Hourglass. Analogous to the…