Well… the title is a spoiler, but is this a painting? Are those falling meteors? What is that?

Hubble Telescope Modern Art

The first time I’ve seen it, out of context, I tought it was a crop of some decaying taken from LHC.

In fact, this is a picture coming from the Hubble Space Telescope. But a quite unusual one. Scientists suspects it’s the result of the choice of a bad reference point in space for tracking/stabilization. Quoting from the official page:

Hubble uses a Fine Guidance System (FGS) in order to maintain stability whilst performing observations. […] In order to compensate for gyroscopic drift, the FGS locks onto a fixed point in space, which is referred to as a guide star.

It is suspected that in this case, Hubble had locked onto a bad guide star, potentially a double star or binary. This caused an error in the tracking system, resulting in this remarkable picture of brightly coloured stellar streaks

You can get the picture in full resolution and many other sizes on its official Space Telescope page.