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Last Updated: Tuesday May 12 2009 13:53 GMT

In pictures: Hubble's best images

Pillars of gas in the Eagle Nebula (M16) (Nasa/Esa/STScI/J. Hester/P. Scowen)

The Hubble Space Telescope was launched in 1990. This is one of the most famous snaps it has taken. It shows gas clouds where new stars are formed.

NGC 6543 - the Cat's Eye Nebula (Nasa, Esa, HEIC, and The Hubble Heritage Team - STScI/AURA)

This picture is of a star like the sun giving off gas. It's called a planetary nebula.

A "light echo" illuminates dust around supergiant star V838 Monocerotis NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI)

The telescope orbits about 350 miles above Earth. This spectacular shot shows light shining from a red supergiant star.

Cone Nebula (NGC 2264) a star-forming pillar of gas and dust

In 2002, Hubble took this picture of a cold gas and dust cloud 2,500 light years away.

Messier 64 (Nasa and The Hubble Heritage Team - AURA/STScI)

This collection of stars has been nicknamed the Evil Eye galaxy.

The Sombrero Galaxy (M104) (NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team - STScI/AURA)

This picture is of the Sombrero galaxy. The bright centre is circled by thick ring of dust.

Hubble Ultra Deep Field (Nasa, Esa, S. Beckwith (STScI) and the HUDF Team)

This picture shows some of the most distant galaxies ever seen. The furthest one that Hubble has recorded is a whopping 13 billion light years away!

The Ring Nebula (M57) (The Hubble Heritage Team - AURA/STScI/Nasa)

Hubble took this picture in 1998. It shows a dying star floating in a blue haze of gas.

Hourglass Nebula

This spooky snap shows a formation called the Hourglass Nebula because of its shape.