This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows a galaxy cluster, SDSS J1038+4849, that appears to have two eyes and a nose as part of a happy face. The 'face' is the result of gravitational lensing.
Our Milky Way galaxy is ablaze with dust in this new all-sky map from Planck, a European Space Agency mission with important NASA contributions. The towers of fiery colors are actually dust in the galaxy and beyond that has been polarized.
The color scale in this image from the Planck mission represents the emission from dust, a minor but crucial component that pervades our Milky Way galaxy. The texture indicates the orientation of the galactic magnetic field.
The tightly packed system, named Kepler-444, is home to five small planets in very compact orbits. The planets were detected from the dimming that occurs when they transit the disk of their parent star, as shown in this artist's conception.
A dusty planetary system (left) is compared to another system with little dust in this artist's concept. Dust can make it difficult for telescopes to image planets because light from the dust can outshine that of the planets.
This plot shows data from the Cosmic Infrared Background Experiment, or CIBER, rockets launched in 2010 and 2012. The experiment measures a diffuse glow of infrared light in the sky, known as the cosmic infrared background.
This graphic illustrates how the Cosmic Infrared Background Experiment, or CIBER, team measures a diffuse glow of infrared light filling the spaces between galaxies. The glow does not come from any known stars and galaxies.
This artist's concept shows a view of a number of galaxies sitting in huge halos of stars. The stars are too distant to be seen individually and instead are seen as a diffuse glow, colored yellow in this illustration.
First Stars or Stray Stars? A Cosmic Infrared Mystery
Our sky is filled with a diffuse background glow, known as the cosmic infrared background. Much of the light is from galaxies we know about, but previous Spitzer measurements have shown an extra component of unknown origin.
These images from the Cosmic Infrared Background Experiment, or CIBER, show large patches of the sky at two different infrared wavelengths (1.1 microns and 1.6 microns) after all known galaxies have been subtracted out and the images smoothed.