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25 Mind-Bending Images From Hubble Space Telescope's 25-Year Mission

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- The Hubble Space Telescope is marking 25 years of a mission that has led to ground-breaking discoveries in astrophysics the rewriting astronomy textbooks with its revelations.

The Hubble, named after astronomer Edwin Hubble, was launched April 24, 1990 aboard the space shuttle Discovery.

Beginning April 20, Bay Area residents can see a re-release of the 2010 IMAX movie "Hubble 3D" at several local venues. Check for showtimes and further announcements at: www.imax.com/movies/m/hubble-3d

Below, we've selected 25 of our favorite images from Hubble's amazing -- and continuing -- quarter-century mission to bring our universe into spectacular focus.

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Hubble Classic: 'Pillars of Creation'
The pillars are bathed in blistering ultraviolet light from a grouping of young, massive stars located off the top of the image. Streamers of gas can be seen bleeding off the pillars as the intense radiation heats and evaporates it into space. (NASA)

 

Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1300
NGC 1300 is considered to be prototypical of barred spiral galaxies. (NASA)

 

The Antennae Galaxies/NGC 4038-4039
These two spiral galaxies started to interact a few hundred million years ago, making the Antennae galaxies one of the nearest and youngest examples of a pair of colliding galaxies. (NASA)

 

Carina Nebula Details: Great Clouds
Clouds of hydrogen tower above the surface of a molecular cloud on the edge of the Carina nebula. (NASA)

 

The Cat's Eye Nebula: Dying Star Creates Fantasy-like Sculpture of Gas and Dust
This image reveals the beauty of a bull's-eye pattern of 11 or more concentric shells around the Cat's Eye Nebula. (NASA)

 

The Eagle Has Risen: Stellar Spire in the Eagle Nebula
This formation is a billowing tower of cold gas and dust rising from a stellar nursery called the Eagle Nebula. (NASA)

 

Galaxy Triplet Arp 274
Arp 274, also known as NGC 5679, is a system of three galaxies that appear to be partially overlapping in the image, although they may be at somewhat different distances. (NASA)

 

Hubble ACS/WFPC2 Image of Globular Cluster M13
Hubble caught a glimpse of many hundreds of thousands of stars moving about in the globular cluster M13, one of the brightest and best-known globular clusters in the northern sky. (NASA)

 

Hubble Sees a Horsehead of a Different Color
In this Hubble Space Telescope view, the Horsehead Nebula is seen in infrared wavelengths. (NASA)

 

Jupiter's Great Red Spot and Ganymede's Shadow
On April 21, 2014, Hubble was monitoring changes in Jupiter's immense Great Red Spot. During the exposures, the shadow of the Jovian moon Ganymede swept across the center of the huge storm system. (NASA)

 

Light Echo Illuminates Dust Around Supergiant Star
Hubble's view of an expanding halo of light around a distant star, named V838 Monocerotis. (NASA)

 

The Glowing Eye of Planetary Nebula NGC 6751
Glowing in the constellation Aquila like a giant eye, this nebula is a cloud of gas ejected several thousand years ago from the hot star visible in its center. (NASA)

 

A String of 'Cosmic Pearls' Surrounds an Exploding Star
A shock wave of material unleashed by the stellar blast of supernova 1987A is slamming into regions along the ring's inner regions, heating them up, and causing them to glow. (NASA)

 

Hubble View of Ring Nebula
The Ring Nebula is a well-known planetary nebula, the glowing remains of a Sun-like star. The tiny white dot in the center of the nebula is the star's hot core, called a white dwarf. (NASA)

 

Sombrero Galaxy (M104)
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope trained its razor-sharp eye on one of the universe's most stately and photogenic galaxies, the Sombrero galaxy, Messier 104. (NASA)

 

Spiral Galaxy NGC 4622 Spins Backwards
This galaxy, called NGC 4622, appears to be rotating in the opposite direction to what astronomers expected. (NASA)

 

Hubble Wide Field Camera 3 Image Details Star Birth in Galaxy M83
Nicknamed the Southern Pinwheel, the M83 galaxy is undergoing more rapid star formation than our own Milky Way galaxy. (NASA)

 

Sheets of Debris From a Stellar Explosion
Delicate filaments in the Large Magellanic Cloud are actually sheets of debris from a stellar explosion. (NASA)

 

Whirlpool Galaxy
The large Whirlpool Galaxy (left) is known for its sharply defined spiral arms. Their prominence could be the result of the Whirlpool's gravitational tug-of-war with its smaller companion galaxy (right). (NASA)

 

Saturn
Hubble photographed Saturn in Oct. 1998. (NASA)

 

Star Formation in the Large Magellanic Cloud
Hubble Space Telescope captured an iridescent tapestry of star birth in a neighboring galaxy. (NASA)

 

Mars Near Opposition, 2003
Mars, photographed in 2003. (NASA)

 

Cepheid Variable Star RS Puppis
The bright southern hemisphere star RS Puppis, at the center of the image, is swaddled in a cocoon of reflective dust illuminated by the glittering star. (NASA)

 

Star-Forming Region S106
A massive young star, IRS 4, is responsible for the furious activity we see in the Sharpless 2-106 nebula, about 2,000 light-years distant. (NASA)

 

Hubble Classic: 'Mystic Mountain' in Carina Nebula
This turbulent cosmic pinnacle, three light-years tall, lies within a tempestuous stellar nursery called the Carina Nebula. (NASA)

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