When we look at the distant Universe, we are looking back in time. The light from many of the stars we see has taken billions of years to reach us on the Earth. This means we can see stars and the galaxies they inhabit at different stages of their lives. A star looks different depending on its age and can eventually be transformed into a different type of object such as a neutron star or black hole.
This section gathers together many of the important types of object that have been detected.
Image: A composite X-ray, visible light and infrared view of Kepler's supernova remnant (credit: NASA/ESA/Johns Hopkins University)
The collapsed remains of massive stars are regions of powerful gravity.
Traces of the early Universe are found.
Hundreds of planets have been found orbiting other stars.
Gravity gathers stars, gas, dust and dark matter.
Bursts of powerful radiation come from the distant Universe.
Stars change during their lifetimes.
Astronomers search for other 'Earths' orbiting distant stars.
Beautiful dust and gas clouds are found in interstellar space.
Incredibly dense burnt-out stars send messages across space.
A white dwarf star may steal matter from a companion red giant.
Pulsars send signals across the Universe.
Astronomers find mysterious objects emitting radio waves.
Stars often grow up in a group.
Fusion reactions power suns across the Universe.
Stars can die in massive explosions.
The brightness of stars can change.
Stars often end their days as 'degenerate matter'.