8 Spectacular Space Sights

Celebrate International Astronomy Day by enjoying these rare views of outer space. Learn more fun factoids on a variety of topics in "Awesome 8": http://bit.ly/A8_514

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    Ancient Chinese and Japanese astronomers witnessed the supernova explosion that created the Crab Nebula in A.D. 1054. This detailed mosaic image of the six-light-year-wide dead star is the work of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

  2. 2

    Named for its resemblance to the Mexican hat of the same name, the Sombrero galaxy features a glowing, bulging core of stars enclosed in thick, dark lanes of dust.

  3. 3

    It's just what it looks like! Mission Specialist Bruce McCandless II performed an untethered space walk, going farther unattached to his shuttle than any astronaut had before.

  4. 4

    Though the Cone Nebula is in total 7 light-years long, this image shows only its upper 2.5 light-years—a height equaling 23 million round-trips to the moon! It is eerily surrounded by the red glow of hydrogen gas.

  5. 5

    One of gas giant Jupiter's 50 (yes, 50!) confirmed moons is just about to hide behind its planet. The largest moon in the entire solar system, Ganymede is even larger than the planet Mercury.

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    Looking more like vertical rock formations in a cave than columns of cold dust and gas in space, the Pillars of Creation were first photographed in 1995. A sharper, wider image (pictured here) of the iconic towers was taken in 2015.

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    Astronauts aboard the International Space Station captured an early stage of the June 12, 2009 eruption of Sarychev Peak, a volcano on Matua Island in the northern part of Russia's Kuril Island chain.

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    V838 Monocerotis lives at the outer edge of the Milky Way, 20,000 light-years away. When the star suddenly brightened for a few weeks in 2002, the "light echo" revealed previously unseen dust patterns in its surrounding cloud structures.

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