Jaw-drop sky: 25 years of the Hubble Telescope

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The Eagle Nebula's Pillars of Creation as seen in visible light. The nebula is located 7,000 light-years away from Earth. The instellar gas and dust is named 'Pillars of Creation' because they are in the process of creating new stars while simultaneously being eroded by strong winds from massive nearby stars. NASA/ESA/Hubble/Hubble Heritage Team

Jaw-drop sky: 25 years of the Hubble Telescope

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This image of the Crab Nebula is the largest image ever taken with Hubble's WFPC2 camera. The Crab Nebula is the remnant of a star that exploded, according to observations, in 1054 CE. It is located 6,000 light years away in the the Taurus constellation. NASA/ESA/Allison Loll/Jef Hester; Acknowledgement: Davide De Martin

Jaw-drop sky: 25 years of the Hubble Telescope

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This image shows the centre of the globular cluster Messier 22. Globular clusters are spherical collections of densely packed stars, relics of the early years of the Universe, with ages of typically 12 to 13 billion years. This is very old considering that the Universe is only 13.8 billion years old. ESA/Hubble/NASA

Jaw-drop sky: 25 years of the Hubble Telescope

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This giant star cluster is about 2 million years old and contains some of our galaxy's hottest, brightest and biggest stars. Hubble's near-infrared camera pierced through the dusty veil for a clear view of the nebula and the dense concentration of stars in the centre. NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team/A Nota/Westerlund 2 Science Team

Jaw-drop sky: 25 years of the Hubble Telescope

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This stellar relic is nicknamed the Eskimo Nebula (NGC 2392) because, when viewed through ground-based telescopes, it resembles a face surrounded by a fur parka. In this Hubble image, the 'parka' is really a disk of material embellished with a ring of comet-shaped objects. The nebula is about 5,000 light-years from Earth. NASA

Jaw-drop sky: 25 years of the Hubble Telescope

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A heavy runaway star is rushing away from a nearby stellar nursery at more than 250,000 miles an hour, a speed at which one could travel to the our moon and back in two hours. Clues from three observatories, including HST, suggest that the star may have travelled about 375 light-years from its home cluster. NASA/ESA/C Evans/N Walbom/ESO

Jaw-drop sky: 25 years of the Hubble Telescope

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NGC 1566 is a Seyfert galaxy located approximately 40 million light-years away, in the Dorado constellation. Seyfert galaxies have active and luminous centres emitting strong bursts of radiation and potentially harbouring massive black holes many million times the mass of the Sun. NASA/ESA/Hubble; Acknowledgement: Flickr user Det58

Jaw-drop sky: 25 years of the Hubble Telescope

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The HST was monitoring changes in Jupiter's immense Great Red Spot (GRS) storm on April 21, 2014, when the shadow of the Jovian moon, Ganymede, swept across the centre of the storm. This gave the giant planet the uncanny appearance of having a pupil in the centre of a 10,000 mile-diameter 'eye'. NASA/ESA/A Simon

Jaw-drop sky: 25 years of the Hubble Telescope

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Thanks to the HST, astronomers are witnessing the unprecedented transition of a supernova to a supernova remnant. Light from an exploding star in a neighboring galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud, reached Earth in February 1987; named Supernova 1987A, it was the closest supernova explosion witnessed in almost 400 years. NASA/ESA/P Challis

Jaw-drop sky: 25 years of the Hubble Telescope

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This new image showcases NGC 1501, a complex planetary nebula located in the large but faint constellation of Camelopardalis (The Giraffe). Just under 500 light-years away from Earth, the nebula is nicknamed Oyster Nebula, because of the bright pearl embedded within its glowing shell. Note that the colours in this image are arbitrary. NASA/ESA/Hubble; Acknowledgement: Marc Canale

Jaw-drop sky: 25 years of the Hubble Telescope

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Astronomers have used NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to assemble a comprehensive picture of the evolving universe - among the most colorful deep space images ever captured by the 24-year-old telescope. NASA/ESA

Jaw-drop sky: 25 years of the Hubble Telescope

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With an estimated surface temperature of about 250,000 degrees C, the dying central star of the planetary nebula NGC 6302 has become exceptionally hot, shining brightly in ultraviolet light but hidden from direct view by a dense torus of dust. This close-up of the dying star's nebula was recorded in 2009. NASA/ESA/Hubble

Jaw-drop sky: 25 years of the Hubble Telescope

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U Camelopardalis, or U Cam, is a star nearing the end of its life. The gas ejected in the star's latest eruption is visible here as a faint bubble of gas surrounding the star. U Cam itself is actually much smaller than it appears; its brightness, however, is enough to overwhelm the capability of HST's camera, making the star look much bigger than it really is. ESA/NASA

Jaw-drop sky: 25 years of the Hubble Telescope

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The HST captured an image of Eta Carinae, one of the closest stars to Earth that is likely to explode in a supernova in the relatively near future (though in astronomical timescales the 'near future' could still be a million years away). When it does, expect an impressive view from Earth. ESA/NASA

THE WONDER THAT IS HUBBLE

Jaw-drop sky: 25 years of the Hubble Telescope

Catch Team @catchnews

The Hubble Space Telescope, or HST, is no ordinary telescope. It's not because it incessantly circles the earth photographing the great black yonder, but because it can directly look into our dreams.

It looks into time and space, making us believe as a species that one day we might get to see the cosmic dance with our own eyes.

From the pillars of creation to the supernovas in distant time and space, nebulas of various stellar hues to stellar nurseries of various sizes, exploding stars, expanding masses of gas, black holes of singularity, and moons of distant planets - HST has, for the last 25 years, been fuelling our dreams while adding immeasurably to our understanding of the universe.

What we see as fabulous celestial landscapes of pillars, ridges and valleys are in fact huge stars in galaxies 20,000 light years away, unleashing torrents of ultraviolet light and hurricane-force winds. This is what the Hubble has allowed us to discover.

As we celebrate 25 years of the telescope, here is a selection of its best works, edited by CatchNews.

Text by Kaushik Ramaswamy

Catch Team

Catch Team @catchnews