Ground-based (left) vs space-based (right) image resolution. Click on the image to see a large version.

M51_comparison_detail-wiyn_hst-1000x1000

This image compares two views of some star-forming regions in the Whirlpool Galaxy. On the left is the view from the WIYN telescope at Kitt Peak in Arizona. On the right is the view from the Hubble Space Telescope. Earth's atmosphere blurs the ground-based image and limits its resolution. Hubble is above Earth's atmosphere and can get a clearer image.

 

WIYN Image Credit: K. Rhode, M. Young and WIYN/NOAO/AURA/NSF

https://www.noao.edu/image_gallery/html/im1180.html

 

HST Image Credit:  NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI), and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2005/12/image/a/

Download this image:

m51_comparison_detail-wiyn_hst-1000x1000.jpg