Hubble Space Telescope: A look at 25 years of spectacular imagery

This iconic image is called the Pillars of Creation and it is of the Eagle Nebula about 7,000 light years from Earth
This iconic image is called the Pillars of Creation and it is of the Eagle Nebula about 7,000 light years from Earth

The Hubble Space Telescope has been a resounding success since its inception in the 1970s and launch in the 1990.

The cylindrical satellite the size of a school bus was sent into orbit on April 24 1990, after its launch was delayed by the Challenger space shuttle disaster four years earlier.
Hurtling round the Earth at almost 16,800mph at a height of 347 miles, the telescope has transformed our view of the universe, led to astonishing new discoveries about the cosmos, and delivered breathtaking images from the great beyond.
Speaking of the £5.3 billion instrument with which he has been involved from the outset, Royal Astronomical Society president Professor Martin Barstow said: "The scientific and cultural contribution is incalculable. Hubble has measured the size of the universe and contributed to the discovery of Dark Energy, leading to a Nobel prize.
"It has gone on to study planets outside our solar system, a project that could not have been conceived when Hubble was launched, as no such objects were known.
"Its images have coloured all our lives and engaged millions in an exciting scientific adventure."
The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) was named after US astronomer Edwin Hubble (1889-1953) whose work led to the discovery that the universe is expanding.
Let's have a look at some of the spectacular imagery Hubble has sent back to us. 
This region of the Carina Nebula is known as ‘Mystic Mountain’; located 7,500 light-years away
The Butterfly: A dying star that was once about five times the mass of our sun lies at the heart of this object
One of the largest Hubble mosaics ever assembled, this shows the picturesque Sombrero galaxy
The Monkey Head Nebula is a region of star birth located 6,400 light-years away
An image of the Eagle Nebula reveals a tall, dense tower of gas being sculpted by ultraviolet light from a group of massive, hot stars
The planet Jupiter is shown with one of its moons, Ganymede 
At 650 light-years away, the Helix is one of the nearest planetary nebulae to Earth
This galaxy is nicknamed the Whirlpool because of its swirling structure
This composite image of the Crab Nebula was assembled from 24 individual exposures
Star cluster NGC 2060, a loose collection of stars in 30 Doradus, located in the heart of the Tarantula Nebula 170,000 light-years away
The Ultra Deep Field image, the most comprehensive picture ever assembled