hubble stories

We currently think that the universe is some 13.7 billion years old. With that in mind, the zoomed-in cutaway above is pointing to a very, very distant galaxy, which we've observed 420 million years after the big bang. That means the light we're seeing from it spent 13.3 billion years traveling through the cosmos. Whoa.
The Hubble telescope has captured literally thousands of photos of the starry skies — each one beautiful in its own right. Now, these gorgeous photos have been pieced together in a mosaic that recreates Van Gogh's seminal The Starry Night.
We've seen graphic depictions mapping the relative scale of our universe, but nothing beats actually looking into the void and seeing what's really out there. This week the Hubble Space Telescope released images that take us farther than we've ever gone before.
This star is named Camelopardalis (which used to be what people called giraffes), and it's up by the North Celestial Pole. You can't actually see the star itself (it takes up about one pixel in the center of the image), but you can see a giant ring of gas that the star has coughed out. If your body was full of soot and carbon monoxide, you'd be coughing too.