Photo: A pair of spiral galaxies, named NGC 4302 (L) and NGC 4298, that are approximately 55 million light-years away. (Supplied: NASA/ESA/M Mutchler)
The Hubble Space Telescope has this week celebrated its 27th birthday, after it was launched on the space shuttle Discovery on April 24, 1990, from Florida.The telescope, named after astronomer Edwin Hubble, was the first major optical telescope to be placed in space, and has made more than 1.3 million observations.
Its position above the atmosphere, free of clouds and light pollution, allows it to see further into the universe.
It has travelled more than 4.8 billion kilometres in orbit above Earth, and has seen into the distant past more than 13.4 billion light years away.
Take a look back at some of its most impressive and dramatic images from over the years.
Gas on the star gets so hot that it escapes into space, moving at over 6.4 million kilometres per hour, and sweeps up cold interstellar gas in front of it, creating the outer edge of the "bubble".
It was discovered in 1787, and is about 4 million years old.
Photo: The Pillars of Creation, made up of gas, radiation and intense heat. (Supplied: NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team)The famous Pillars of Creation are about five light years tall, bathed in ultraviolet light from the young stars in the top of the image.
Stars are being born inside the pillars, which are made of cold hydrogen gas laced with dust.
Streamers of gas can be seen emanating from the pillars as intense radiation heats and evaporates it into space.
The pillars are part of the Eagle Nebula, around 6,500 light years from earth.
Photo: An image of an aurora on Jupiter, taken during a series of Hubble Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph far-ultraviolet-light observations. (Supplied: NASA/ESA/J Nichols)Closer to home, this image shows an aurora on Jupiter's pole, during a series of Hubble Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph far-ultraviolet-light observations.
Auroras are formed when charged particles hit an atmosphere near magnetic poles, causing it to glow.
Jupiter's magnetosphere is 20,000 times stronger than Earth's.
The colour image of Jupiter was separately photographed at a different time, and the two images were composited together.
Photo: Supernova 1987A, photographed by the Hubble Telescope. (Supplied: NASA/ESA/R Kirshner, M Mutchler and R Avila)This Hubble image shows Supernova 1987A in the Large Magnetic Cloud, a neighbouring galaxy to the Milky Way.
The bright rings around the central region of the exploded star is made up of material ejected by the star about 20,000 years before its death.
The red clouds of gas surrounding the supernova represent the glow of hydrogen gas.
The supernova was discovered in 1987, and Hubble began observing it in the early 1990s.