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Out-of-this-world images from space(49 images)

Astronauts from the United States and the European Space Agency, along with engineers and scientists on the ground around the world, are capturing some amazing images from outer space. Many were released in celebration of the Hubble Telescope's 30th anniversary. Here are some of the recent highlights.

This image from Hubble depicts bright blue newly formed stars that are blowing a cavity in the center of a star-forming region known as N90. The dust in the region gives these distant galaxies a reddish-brown tint. Photo courtesy of NASA/ESA
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The Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) aboard Hubble snapped this image of the planetary nebula, cataloged as NGC 6302, but more popularly called the Bug Nebula or the Butterfly Nebula, on July 27, 2009. NGC 6302 lies within our Milky Way galaxy, roughly 3800 light-years away. The "butterfly" stretches for more than two light-years, which is nearly half the distance from the Sun to the nearest star, Proxima Centauri. Photo courtesy of NASA/ESA
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Hubble's image of the star V838 Monocerotis (V838 Mon) reveals dramatic changes in the illumination of surrounding dusty cloud structures. The effect, called a light echo, has been unveiling never-before-seen dust patterns ever since the star suddenly brightened for several weeks in early 2002. Photo courtesy of NASA/ESA
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This picture, taken by the Advanced Camera for Surveys aboard Hubble, shows the upper 2.5 light-years of the Cone Nebula (in NGC 2264), a height that equals 23 million roundtrips to the moon. The entire pillar is seven light-years long. Astronomers believe that these pillars may be incubators for developing stars. The ACS made this observation on April 2, 2002. Photo courtesy of NASA/ESA
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