Hubble Spies Christmas Ornament
Season's greetings from the Hubble Space Telescope, which spotted this glittery ornament in the sky, shown in a photo released this week.
The vast stellar snow globe, an enormous ball of some 330,000 stars called Messier 92, orbits our own Milky Way galaxy much like a toy train circles underneath a Christmas tree. Astronomers study "globular" clusters such as Messier 92 for clues to the formation of stars.
—Dan Vergano, photo gallery by Mallory Benedict
Week's Best Space Pictures: Brilliant Rings, Martian Springs, and Winter's Stings
As the holidays approach, warm up with views of a stellar bauble, galaxies merrily feasting, and summer in the South Atlantic.