Hubble's 18th birthday party favors: 59 crisp new images of distant galaxies

Happy birthday, Hubble Space Telescope. It's the 18th anniversary of the Hubby's launch and, to celebrate it, NASA and the European Space Agency have released 59 new images of interacting galaxies. You may not have thought galaxies mingle very much, but they do — they collide, merge with one another to form new galaxies, and trigger the formation of fresh stars. By the time reaches the Hubble or our eyes here on Earth, of course, the event is long over, but we're still witnessing astronomical history all around us.

Click through the galaxy of photos below to see the universe through Hubble's eyes.

NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, via EurekAlert!