NASA has released a batch of new images in its Hubble Messier Catalogue, giving us fresh looks at galaxies, nebulae, and more. Almost 250 years ago, French astronomer Charles Messier drew up a list of 103 major astronomical objects that could be seen from the Northern Hemisphere.
After the Hubble Space Telescope was launched in 1990, astronomers began using it to take images of each object. On March 16, 2018 NASA announced that 12 new images had been added to the Hubble Messier Catalog, meaning it has now snapped 93 of the total 110 objects (seven were added later). Messier originally drew up his list so that he could more easily focus on watching comets. He labeled the most visible astronomical phenomena because he was frustrated that they looked like comets and caused him to waste time.
Some objects have required multiple exposures from Hubble to capture the entire object, such as the Andromeda Galaxy (M31), which required almost 7,400. Using its infrared and ultraviolet filters, Hubble has also given us a whole new view at some of these amazing locales.
You can check out the 12 new images below, while you can also see the full Hubble Messier Catalog on Flickr.
M58, located 62 million light-years from Earth, was one of the first galaxies recognized to have a spiral shape. NASA, ESA, STScI and D. Maoz (Tel Aviv University/Wise Observatory)
This is M59, 60 million light-years from Earth, which is unusual for having a central region that rotates oppositely to the rest of the galaxy. NASA, ESA, STScI, and W. Jaffe (Sterrewacht Leiden) and P. Côté (Dominion Astrophysical Observatory)
Found 22,200 light-years from Earth, the globular cluster M62 is irregularly shaped, possibly owing to its proximity to our Milky Way. NASA, ESA, STScI, and S. Anderson (University of Washington) and J. Chaname (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)
The globular cluster M75 contains about 400,000 stars. It is 13 billion years old and found 67,500 light-years from us. NASA, ESA, STScI, and G. Piotto (Università degli Studi di Padova) and E. Noyola (Max Planck Institut für extraterrestrische Physik)
The elliptical (or possibly lenticular) galaxy M86, containing 3,800 globular clusters, is moving towards us – although it’s still 52 million light-years away. NASA, ESA, STScI, and S. Faber (University of California, Santa Cruz) and P. Côté (Dominion Astrophysical Observatory)
M88 is found 47 million light-years away. It’s a spiral galaxy with well-defined and symmetrical arms. NASA, ESA, STScI and M. Stiavelli (STScI)
The elliptical galaxy M89 is almost exactly circular. It’s found 50 million light-years from us. NASA, ESA, STScI, and M. Franx (Universiteit Leiden) and S. Faber (University of California, Santa Cruz)
This bright and beautiful spiral galaxy is called M90. Found 59 million light-years away, it contains about a trillion stars. NASA, ESA, STScI, and V. Rubin (Carnegie Institution of Washington), D. Maoz (Tel Aviv University/Wise Observatory) and D. Fisher (University of Maryland)
M95 is a barred spiral galaxy found 33 million light-years away. Its arms play host to a large amount of star formation. NASA, ESA, STScI, and D. Calzetti (University of Massachusetts, Amherst) and R. Chandar (University of Toledo)
M98 is found 44 million light-years away and has an active nucleus, meaning its core is brighter than the rest of the galaxy. NASA, ESA, STScI and V. Rubin (Carnegie Institution of Washington)
Also called the Surfboard galaxy, M108 is found 46 million light-years away. It gets its name from appearing edge-on with no apparent bulge or core. NASA, ESA, STScI and G. Illingworth (University of California, Santa Cruz)
Found 2.7 million light-years away orbiting the Andromeda galaxy, M110 is an elliptical galaxy with no arms or regions of star formation. NASA, ESA, STScI and D. Geisler (Universidad de Concepción)