This Hubble Space Telescope image of Eta Carinae, a star in the constellation Carina, is 50 light-years wide and was made of a composite of 48 frames. NASA
Variable star V838 Monocerotis lies near the edge of the Milky Way Galaxy, about 20,000 light-years from our sun. Still, ever since a sudden outburst was detected in January 2002, this enigmatic star has taken the center of an astronomical stage. As astronomers watch, light from the outburst echoes across pre-existing dust shells around V838 Mon, progressively illuminating ever more distant regions. This stunning image of swirls of dust surrounding the star was recorded by the Hubble Space Telescope in September 2006. NASA/ESA/H. Bond/Newscom
The center of the Milky Way is seen in this photo released by the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere made from the Paranal observatory some 745 miles north of Santiago, Chile on Sept. 22. Stephane Guisard/ESO/Handout/Reuters
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has given us a keyhole view towards the heart of our Milky Way Galaxy, where a dazzling array of stars reside. Most of the view of our galaxy is obscured by dust. Hubble peered into the Sagittarius Star Cloud, a narrow, dust-free region, providing this spectacular glimpse of a treasure chest full of stars. Some of these gems are among the oldest inhabitants of our galaxy. NASA/GSFC WARNING/Newscom
The Tycho supernova remnant is shown in this composite image which combines infrared and X-ray views obtained with NASA's Spitzer and Chandra space observatories and the Calar Alto observatory in Spain in this handout from NASA. The explosion, witnessed by Tycho Brahe and other astronomers of that era, makes it the oldest ever seen in the Milky Way. REUTERS/MPIA/NASA/Calar Alto Observatory
This NASA image was taken by the Chandra X-ray observatory and shows the W3 region of the Perseus arm of the Milky Way galaxy. This is where many massive stars are forming in a string of stellar clusters, located about 6,000 light years from Earth. UPI/NASA/Newscom
This undated NASA image taken by the Spitzer Space Telescope shows an infrared view of the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. This image is a compilation of many smaller snapshots. This detailed, false-color image shows older, cool stars in bluish hues. Reddish glowing dust clouds are associated with young, hot stars in stellar nurseries. The galactic center lies some 26,000 light-years away, toward the constellation Sagittarius. At that distance, this picture spans about 900 light-years. UPI/NASA/Newscom
The brightest star in the Milky Way, V838 Monocerotis, as seen through the Hubble Space Telescope. In January 2002 the star suddenly grew 600,000 times brighter than the sun. The flash temporarily made the star, in the constellation also known as The Unicorn, the brightest light in the Milky Way. Zuma/Newscom
The comet Hyakutake is pictured showing a blue gas tail. Hyakutake passed very close to the Earth in 1996. Newscom
This Hubble Space Telescope image reveals an expanding shell of glowing gas surrounding a hot, massive star in our Milky Way Galaxy, the shell of which is being shaped by strong stellar winds of material and radiation produced by the bright star at the left, which is 10 to 20 times more massive than our sun. WENN/Newscom
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has photographed dense knots of dust and gas in our Milky Way Galaxy. This cosmic dust is a concentration of elements that are responsible for the formation of stars in our galaxy and throughout the universe. These opaque, dark knots of gas and dust are called 'Bok globules,' and they are absorbing light in the center of the nearby emission nebula and star-forming region, NGC 281. The globules are named after astronomer Bart Bok, who proposed their existence in the 1940's. Bok hypothesized that giant molecular clouds, on the order of hundreds of light-years in size, can become perturbed and form small pockets where the dust and gas are highly concentrated. If they can capture enough mass, they have the potential of creating stars in their cores. Zuma/Newscom
Maundy Thursday: Pope Francis washed the feet of 12 disabled people on Maundy Thursday, saying the Catholic Church must always be a refuge for the needy.
Philip Pullella, Reuters /
April 17, 2014
Pope Francis, starting four packed days culminating in Easter, said the Catholic Church must always be a refuge for the needy and later washed the feet of 12 disabled people at a traditional Holy Thursday ceremony.