It's hard to overstate the excitement back in 1990 when the Hubble Space Telescope left Earth. Scientists had worked the public into a frenzy with this thing since the 1970s, promising that without the stupid atmosphere to hold it back, its vision would be so clear, you could peer right into the butthole of God. So we didn't have a problem when it blew past its $400 million budget and landed at $1.5 billion, because that first picture would be worth every penny. What we got was this piece of shit:
It was a problem with a mirror, and it was fixed with a simple three-year replacement project. Ever since then, Hubble has been showing us views of space that we couldn't replicate with the dorkiest of fantasy geek minds.
11The Rose Galaxies
Known in the scientific community by its more poetic name of ARP 273, this is an image of two galaxies caught in a gravitational clusterfuck after the smaller one passed through the larger one. What we get is a tidal pull on the lower galaxy, stretching it out into a stemlike structure, its bulge forming the single-leaf look we all recognize from a trimmed rose. It's God's way of telling space, "Come on, baby, don't be like that. I didn't mean it. Look, I made you this flower out of galaxies. Don't look at me like that. Fine! Don't come running to me when a massive black hole starts tearing ass through space and sucking up all your shit!"
10The Crab Nebula
This is the most detailed photo ever taken of the Crab Nebula, and if you think that one is awesome, wait until you see the badass original that you can download by clicking these words.
How detailed is it? Let's take the photo I just showed you and box off a tiny section in the upper right corner:
Now, let's view just that miniscule selection at the original image's full size:
Holy shit, it's like the dripping aftermath of Japanese porn. A cosmic jizzfest 66 trillion miles wide, all pointing toward the circle-jerk pivot man that's only about the size of Chicago. So why's it called "The Crab Nebula" instead of "Space Bukkake"? Because one of the guys responsible for documenting the nebula couldn't draw for shit, and his first sketch looked like a crab. The name just kind of stuck.