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    Updated on Sep 2, 2020. Posted on Apr 15, 2015

    13 Mesmerizing Photos That Will Make You Re-Evaluate Your Place In The Universe

    There's no picture more humbling than one that shows us how small we are in the universe.

    Twenty-five years ago, the Hubble Space Telescope left Earth for a remarkable journey — forever changing the way we understand the universe.

    On this 25th anniversary, TASCHEN has compiled the most breathtaking deep-space images that the Hubble Space Telescope has ever produced, in a remarkable full-color book, Expanding Universe: Photographs from the Hubble Space Telescope.

    Here are some of the most mesmerizing pictures seen through the Hubble's lens:

    NASA / ESA / Hubble Heritage Project

    The iconic Horsehead Nebula has graced astronomy books ever since its discovery over a century ago and is a favorite target for amateur and professional astronomers alike.

    NASA / ESA / Hubble Heritage Project

    Jupiter's moon, Ganymede, is shown just before it ducks behind the giant planet. Composed of rock and ice, Ganymede is the largest moon in our solar system — even larger than the planet Mercury.

    NASA / ESA / Hubble Heritage Project

    On Dec. 27, 1999, astronauts Steven Smith and John Grunsfeld replaced the gyroscopes in rate sensor units inside Hubble — 350 miles above Earth’s surface!

    NASA / ESA / Hubble Heritage Project

    What resembles butterfly wings is actually the Butterfly Nebula, comprised of boiling gas heated to nearly 20,000 degrees Celsius and tearing across space at more than 950,000 kilometers per hour — that's fast enough to travel from Earth to the moon in 24 minutes.

    NASA / ESA / Hubble Heritage Project

    Called the Cone Nebula, it has a conical shape and a height that equals 23 million roundtrips to the moon. The entire nebula is 7 light-years long and is believed to be an incubator for developing stars.

    NASA / ESA / Hubble Heritage Project

    This object is actually a billowing tower of cold gas and dust rising from a stellar nursery called the Eagle Nebula. The soaring tower is 9.5 light-years or about 57 trillion miles high, about twice the distance from our sun to the next nearest star.

    NASA / ESA / Hubble Heritage Project

    The bright southern hemisphere star RS Puppis, at the center of the image, is embedded in reflective dust illuminated by the star. This super star is 10 times more massive than our sun and 200 times larger, rhythmically brightening and dimming over a six-week cycle.

    NASA / ESA / Hubble Heritage Project

    The Pillars of Creation is probably one of the most iconic sights captured by the Hubble and is located in the Eagle Nebula. It's comprised of interstellar gas and dust some 7,000 light-years from Earth.

    NASA / ESA / Hubble Heritage Project

    This mosaic image is the sharpest wide-angle view ever obtained of M82. The galaxy is remarkable for its bright blue disk, webs of shredded clouds, and fiery-looking plumes of glowing hydrogen blasting out of its central regions.

    NASA / ESA / Hubble Heritage Project

    NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captured a rare alignment between two spiral galaxies. The outer rim of a small, foreground galaxy is silhouetted in front of a larger background galaxy, while skeletal tentacles of dust can be seen extending beyond the small galaxy's disk of starlight.

    NASA / ESA / Hubble Heritage Project

    The Crab Nebula is a supernova remnant that can be found in the constellation of Taurus. The supernova was recorded by Chinese astronomers in 1054, then later observed by English astronomer John Bevis in 1731, making this nebula the first astronomical object identified with a historical supernova explosion.

    NASA / ESA / Hubble Heritage Project

    A photogenic and favorite target for amateur astronomers, the full beauty of nearby spiral galaxy M83 is unveiled in all of its glory in this Hubble Space Telescope image. The galaxy lies 15 million light-years away in the nearest constellation, Hydra.

    NASA / ESA / Hubble Heritage Project

    And finally, a portrait of the lady herself, the Hubble Space Telescope.

    To learn more about the Hubble Space Telescope, check out its official website at hubblesite.org.

    And to pick up your copy of Expanding Universe: Photographs from the Hubble Space Telescope, visit the TASCHEN website at taschen.com.

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