Two-Star Collision Yields Three-Ring Nebula. ChallisSupernova 1987A occurred in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a galaxy only 160,000 light years from Earth. The outburst was visible to the naked eye, and is the brightest known supernova in almost 400 years.
The Sombrero Galaxy - 28 million light years from Earth - was voted best picture taken by the Hubble telescope. The dimensions of the galaxy, officially called M104, are as spectacular as its appearance. It has 800 billion suns and is 50,000 light years across.
Spherical Planetary Nebula Abell 39 - Planetary nebula Abell 39, now six light-years across, was once a sun-like star's outer atmosphere expelled thousands of years ago. The reason why the central star is slightly off center by 0.1 light-years is currently unknown. Abell 39 lies about 7000 light years away, although several galaxies millions of light years away can be seen through and around the nebula. (Credit & copyright: George Jacoby (WIYN Obs.) et al., WIYN, AURA, NOAO, NSF)
An image of a spiral armed star discovered in 2011, by researchers using the Subaru telescope in Hawaii. The star, SAO 206462, is more than four hundred light years from Earth in the constellation Lupus, the wolf. Two spiral arms emerge from the gas-rich disk around SAO 206462. This image is the first to show spiral arms in a circumstellar disk --some 14 billion miles across, or about twice the size of Pluto's orbit in our own solar system.