Computer-Simulated Image of a Supermassive Black Hole

Astronomers have uncovered a near-record breaking supermassive black hole in an unlikely place: in the center of a galaxy in a sparsely populated area of the universe. The observations, made by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the Gemini Telescope in Hawaii, may indicate that these monster objects may be more common than once thought. via NASA

Hubble Peers Into the Heart of the Milky Way Galaxy

Peering deep into the dusty heart of our Milky Way galaxy using infrared vision, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope reveals a rich tapestry of more than half a million stars. Except for a few blue foreground stars, the stars are part of the Milky Way’s nuclear star cluster, the most massive and densest star cluster in our galaxy. via NASA

Simulated Atmosphere of a Hot Gas Giant

The turbulent atmosphere of a hot, gaseous planet known as HD 80606b is shown in this simulation based on data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. Spitzer measured the whole heating cycle of this planet, determining its coolest (less than 400 degrees Fahrenheit) and hottest (2,000 degrees Fahrenheit) temperatures. via NASA

Haze Layers Above Pluto

This image of haze layers above Pluto’s limb was taken by the Ralph/Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC) on NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft. About 20 haze layers are seen; the layers have been found to typically extend horizontally over hundreds of kilometers, but are not strictly parallel to the surface. via NASA

Hubble Sees a Legion of Galaxies

Containing countless galaxies, this parallel field observation is nearly as deep as the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field. When compared to other deep fields, it will help astronomers understand how similar the universe looks in different directions. via NASA

Last Sunrise From a Year in Space

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly shared a series of five sunrise photographs on Tuesday, March 1, 2016, as he prepared to depart the space station and return to Earth aboard a Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft. Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov are scheduled to undock their Soyuz at 8:02 p.m. EST and land at 11:25 p.m. via NASA

Hubble’s Blue Bubble

The distinctive blue bubble appearing to encircle WR 31a is a Wolf–Rayet nebula — an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen, helium and other gases. Created when speedy stellar winds interact with the outer layers of hydrogen ejected by Wolf–Rayet stars, these nebulae are frequently ring-shaped or spherical. via NASA