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Image of the Day Gallery

THE EIGHT BURST NEBULA It's the dim star, not the bright one, near the center of NGC 3132 that created this odd but beautiful planetary nebula. Nicknamed the Eight-Burst Nebula and the Southern Ring Nebula, the glowing gas originated in the outer layers of a star like our Sun. In this representative color picture, the hot blue pool of light seen surrounding this binary system is energized by the hot surface of the faint star.

Expedition 42 Launches to the International Space Station

Expedition 42 Launches to the International Space Station Expedition 42 Launches to the International Space Station The Soyuz TMA-15M rocket launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Monday, Nov. 24, 2014 as seen in this long exposure carrying Expedition 42 Soyuz Commander Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), Flight Engineer Terry Virts of NASA, and Flight Engineer Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency (ESA)

Spectacular photos from space the formation of stars in the turbulent billows of gas and dust of the Orion Molecular Cloud. The image is based on data from ESA’s Planck satellite

Hubble Sees a Legion of Galaxies

The red arc in this infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is a giant shock wave, created by a speeding star known as Kappa Cassiopeiae. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

SUPERNOVA 1994D AND THE UNEXPECTED UNIVERSE Long ago, far away, a star exploded. Supernova 1994D, visible as the bright spot on the lower left, occurred in the outskirts of disk galaxy NGC 4526. Supernova 1994D was not of interest for how different it was, but rather for how similar it was to other supernovae.

Spectacular photos from spaceLIGHT ECHOES FROM RED SUPERGIANT STAR A Hubble Space Telescope's image of the star V838 Monocerotis revealing dramatic changes in the illumination of surrounding dusty cloud structures. The effect, called a light echo, was unveiling never-before-seen dust patterns since the star suddenly brightened for several weeks.