For 23 years now, the Hubble Space Telescope, our ultimate eye in the sky, has been orbiting Earth -- once every 97 minutes -- and has explored our universe with detail never seen before, uncovering galaxies far, far away, black holes, cosmic collisions, and many other mysteries of the universe.
Free of any atmospheric distortions and background light which affect the quality of images from ground-based observatories, the resolution of Hubble's images are more than 10 times that of anything based on Earth.
This glowing orb is the planetary nebula IC 418, which is about 2,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Lepus. In this picture, the Hubble telescope reveals some remarkable textures weaving through the nebula. Their origin, however, is one of the many, many mysteries of space.
April 25, 2013 12:03 PM PDT
Photo by: NASA/ESA and The Hubble Heritage Team STScI/AURA