The Hooker 100-inch reflecting telescope at the Mount Wilson Observatory, just outside Los Angeles. Edwin Hubble's chair, on an elevating platform, is visible at left. A view from this scope first told Hubble our galaxy isn't the only one. Courtesy of The Observatories of the Carnegie Institution for Science Collection at the Huntington Library, San Marino, Calif. hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of The Observatories of the Carnegie Institution for Science Collection at the Huntington Library, San Marino, Calif.

Just the tiniest slice of what's out there: the Pencil Nebula is pictured in an image from the European Southern Observatory's La Silla facility in Chile. This peculiar cloud of glowing gas is part of a huge ring of wreckage left over after a supernova explosion that took place about 11,000 years ago. ESO hide caption

itoggle caption ESO