This infrared image, from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, of M100 is a classic example of a grand design spiral galaxy, with prominent and well-defined spiral arms winding from the hot center, out to the cooler edges of the galaxy.
The galaxy Messier 100, or M100, shows its swirling spiral in this infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The arcing spiral arms of dust and gas that harbor star forming regions glow vividly when seen in the infrared.
Looking like a spider's web swirled into a spiral, galaxy IC 342 presents its delicate pattern of dust in this infrared light image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The very center glows especially brightly in the infrared.
This glowing emerald nebula seen by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is named RCW 120; this region of hot gas and glowing dust can be found in the murky clouds encircled by the tail of the constellation Scorpius.
A view from the bustling center of our galactic metropolis. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope offers a fresh, infrared view of the frenzied scene at the center of our Milky Way, revealing what lies behind the dust.
This visible light/infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows a swirling landscape of stars known as the North America nebula. Clusters of young stars (about one million years old) can be found throughout the image.
A dragon-shaped cloud of dust seems to fly out from a bright explosion in this infrared light image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. These views have revealed that this dark cloud, called M17 SWex, is forming stars at a furious rate.
These two data plots from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope show a primitive supermassive black hole (top) compared to a typical one; usually, dust tori are missing and only gas disks are observed in primitive black holes.
This infrared portrait of the Small Magellanic Cloud, taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, reveals the stars and dust in this galaxy as never seen before. This nearby satellite galaxy to our Milky Way galaxy is some 200,000 light-years away.
This image zooms into a small portion of NASA's Kepler's full field of view, an expansive, 100-square-degree patch of sky in our Milky Way galaxy. An eight-billion-year-old cluster of stars 13,000 light-years from Earth, called NGC 6791, is seen here.
This image zooms into a small portion of NASA's Kepler's full field of view -- an expansive, 100-square-degree patch of sky in our Milky Way galaxy. At the center of the field is a star with a known 'hot Jupiter' planet, named 'TrES-2.'
This image from NASA's Kepler mission shows the telescope's full field of view an expansive star-rich patch of sky in the constellations Cygnus and Lyra stretching across 100 square degrees, or the equivalent of two side-by-side dips of the Big Dipper.
M33: A Close Neighbor Reveals its True Size and Splendor (3-color composite)
One of our closest galactic neighbors shows its awesome beauty in this new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. M33, also known as the Triangulum Galaxy, is a member of what's known as our Local Group of galaxies.
This image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the nasty effects of living near a group of massive stars: radiation and winds from the massive stars (white spot in center) are blasting planet-making material away from stars like our sun.
The Cassiopeia A supernova's first flash of radiation makes six clumps of dust (circled in annotated version) unusually hot. The supernova remnant is the large white ball in the center. This infrared picture was taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.
Generations of stars can be seen in this new infrared portrait from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. In this wispy star-forming region, called W5, the oldest stars can be seen as blue dots in the centers of the two hollow cavities.