Hubble has been operational for nearly 30 years, and still produces the most spectacular images of all. Here are this year’s best.
Hubble, astronomy’s revolutionary observatory, narrowly survived last year’s gyroscope failure.
After returning, it produced amazing science over this past year.
Here are Hubble’s top 12 images from 2019.
10.) Asteroid (6478) Gault. This isn’t a dust-and-ion-tailed comet, but a twin dust-tailed asteroid, caught while partially disintegrating.
9.) Galaxy NGC 3147. This face-on spiral’s supermassive black hole gravitationally redshifts the interior starlight, which Hubble captures.
8.) Eta Carinae. This future supernova still displays the spectacular remnants of its 1843 eruption.
7.) PSZ1 G311.65–18.48. This foreground cluster gravitationally lenses an ultra-remote galaxy into a magnificent, dozen-image arc.
6.) The Southern Crab Nebula. This planetary nebula arises from a dying red giant orbiting a binary companion.
5.) Galaxy D100. The rightmost galaxy, captured speeding through the Coma Cluster, shows silhouetted, stripped dust actively forming new stars.
4.) Dwarf galaxy Bedin 1. This minuscule dwarf galaxy, discovered accidentally, lies far beyond the foreground stars, spans only 3,000 light-years.
3.) Globular cluster NGC 1466. This ancient stellar cluster orbits the Large Magellanic Cloud, centrally rich in recently formed blue stragglers.
2.) Jupiter. This incomparable, enhanced color view is self-explanatory.
1.) Galaxy pair AM 2026–424. With two massive galaxies colliding head-on, an intermediate ring of blue stars appears before the inevitable final merger.
Mostly Mute Monday tells an astonomical story in images, visuals, and no more than 200 words. Enjoy seven runners-up here (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7). Talk less; smile more.Ethan Siegel is the author of Beyond the Galaxy and Treknology. You can pre-order his third book, currently in development: the Encyclopaedia Cosmologica.