While a bird's eye view lets us see the detailed structure of a galaxy (such as this Hubble image of a barred spiral), a side-on view has its own perks. In particular, it gives astronomers a great opportunity to see the delicate dusty lanes of the spiral arms silhouetted against the golden haze of the galaxy’s core. In addition, brilliant clusters of young blue stars shine scattered throughout the disc, mapping the galaxy’s star-forming regions.
Every time I read see a headline about Hubble images I tell myself that its all computer colored to look as impressive as possible. Then I see the astounding pictures and stop caring.
From ground-based telescopes, the so-called "ant nebula" (Menzel 3, or Mz 3) resembles the head and thorax of a garden-variety ant. This dramatic / Hubble Space Telescope image, showing 10 times more detail, reveals the "ant's" body as a pair of fiery lobes protruding from a dying, Sun-like star.The Hubble images directly challenge old ideas about the last stages in the lives of stars. By observing Sun-like stars as they approach their deaths, the Hubble Heritage image of Mz 3 - along with pictures of other planetary nebulae - shows that our Sun's fate probably will be more interesting, complex, and striking than astronomers imagined just a few years ago.