Hubble's Mystic Mountain
A colorful, craggy column of dust and gas dubbed the Mystic Mountain stars in the newest picture from the Hubble Space Telescope. Released April 23 as part of celebrations for Hubble's 20th anniversary, the picture highlights the results of star birth in the Carina nebula. (See astronomers' picks of some of the best Hubble pictures.)
Hot, young stars in the nebula are constantly emitting radiation and charged particles that sculpt the cosmic cloud from the inside. Columns like this one are regions of matter dense enough to stand up to stellar erosion. (Find out more about the Mystic Mountain, and see a different image of the stars hidden inside the structure.)
Space Photos This Week: Mystic Mountain, Mars Ice, More
Hubble snaps a cosmic "mountain," a satellite spies an oil slick, a Mars crater exposes ice, and more in the week's best space pictures.