2013: Year in Space (31 images)

A look back on the years's launches, space explorations and discoveries.
Updated: Oct. 21, 2013 at 2:01 PM
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In photo released September 4, 2013 by NASA and ESA, this image from the Hubble Space telescope shows an example of a bipolar planetary nebula known as PN Hb12, popularly known as Hubble12, in the constellation of Cassiopeia. The striking shape of this nebula, reminiscent of a butterfly or an hourglass, was formed as a Sun-like star approached the end of its life and puffed its outer layers into the surrounding space. For bipolar nebulae, this material is funneled towards the poles of the ageing star, creating the distinctive double-lobed structure. Observations using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the NTT have found that bipolar planetary nebulae located towards the central bulge of our Milky Way appear to be strangely aligned in the sky. It's a surprising result given their varied and chaotic formation. UPI
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