The most active star-forming galaxy in the distant universe, nicknamed the "Baby Boom" galaxy, loosely resembles the galaxy shown here.
More than 444,580 frames from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope were stitched together to create this portrait of the raging star-formation occurring in the inner Milky Way.
More than 800,000 frames from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope were stitched together to create this infrared portrait of dust and stars radiating in the inner Milky Way.
Like early explorers mapping the continents of our globe, astronomers are busy charting the spiral structure of our galaxy, the Milky Way.
This image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope highlights dramatic changes in phenomena referred to as light echoes around the Cassiopeia A supernova remnant.
This image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the remnant of a star that exploded, called Cassiopeia A (center) and its surrounding "light echoes."
This image shows a ghostly ring extending seven light-years across around the corpse of a massive star.
A cluster brimming with millions of stars glistens like an iridescent opal in this image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Called Omega Centauri, the sparkling orb of stars is like a miniature galaxy.
This plot of infrared data shows the strong signature of water vapor in the disk of gas and dust surrounding a young star.
This artist's concept shows a very young star encircled by a disk of gas and dust, the raw materials from which rocky planets such as Earth are thought to form.
This plot of infrared data shows the signatures of water vapor and simple organic molecules in the disk of gas and dust surrounding a young star.
A massive cluster of yellowish galaxies is seemingly caught in a spider web of eerily distorted background galaxies in an image from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.
Newborn stars peek out from beneath their natal blanket of dust in this dynamic image of the Rho Ophiuchi dark cloud from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.
This image of the Rho Ophiuchi dark cloud was obtained by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, and shows newborn stars peeking out from beneath a dust blanker.
This is a representation of galaxies in and surrounding a galaxy cluster called Abell 1763.
This plot of data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope indicates that a flat, spiral galaxy called NGC 3621 has a feeding, supermassive black hole lurking within it.
This artist's concept illustrates the two types of spiral galaxies that populate our universe: those with plump middles, or central bulges (upper left), and those lacking the bulge (foreground).
This beautiful bulb might look like a Christmas ornament but it is the blown-out remains of a stellar explosion, or supernova.
These are different Spitzer Space Telescope views of the blown-out remains of a stellar explosion, or supernova.
The spectrum reveals the composition of gas and dust that were synthesized in a star explosion.