NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has captured many stunning images over its lifetime – here are five of the most mind-blowing.
The Hubble Space Telescope was originally designed in the 1940s. On April 24, 1990, the US space agency launched the Hubble Space Telescope (or simply Hubble).
Named after astronomer Edwin Powell Hubble (1889–1953), the instrument currently hovers about 340 miles (547 km) above Earth’s surface and completes 15 orbits a day.
It is one among four major observatories of Nasa, including the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory and Chandra X-ray Observatory.
Hubble can be credited with many scientific observations that have helped man understand the universe.
While the telescope’s achievements are numerous, its most notable accomplishments include helping astronomers determine age of the universe as well as observing how it expands.
Nasa has called the instrument one of humanity’s greatest scientific inventions.
Since its launch, the device has made more than one million observations.
Many of them include detailed photographs of the birth, death and growth of stars and galaxies located billions of miles away.
Here are some of our favorite images from the past decade.
1. The Butterfly Nebula (2020).
One of the most striking images of NGC6302, or the “Butterfly Nebula,”This photograph was released June 18, 2020 by Nasa.
It shows the Butterfly Nebula in a full spectrum of light from near-ultraviolet through near-infrared. “researchers better understand the mechanics at work in its technicolor ‘wings’ of gas,” Nasa said.
The star(s), located at the center of the nebula, are responsible for its wing. These regions of heated gas have a temperature greater than 36,000 Fahrenheit.
NGC 6302 lies between 2,500-3,000 light-years and is found in the constellation Scorpius.
2. The Saturn Opposition (2018)
Hubble captured one the most iconic images of Saturn.
The image was released by Nasa on July 26, 2018, and provides a detailed visual of Saturn’s magnificent ring system.
Saturn was only approximately 1.36 billion miles from Earth when this image was taken – that’s about as close as it ever gets to us.
3. The Veil Nebula (2015)
This image was released on September 24, 2015. It shows a portion of the expanding remnants from a supernova explosion that occurred 8,000 years ago.
The Veil Nebula is a space debris that lies approximately 2,100 light years away from the constellation Cygnus. It is also known as the Swan.
The entire nebula measures 110 light years across.
4. The Pillars of Creation (2015)
Nasa released this photograph of a portion of the Eagle Nebula on January 05th, 2015.
The Hubble scientists photographed the image in near-infrared light because it revealed incredible details of the nebula made up of dust and gas clouds.
You can also see new stars at the tops and sides of the pillars. These are not visible in visible light images.
5. The Herbig-Haro Jet, HH24 (2015)
Nasa described the image as “a cosmic, double-bladed lightsaber.”
The image’s center is dominated by a newborn star. It shoots out twin luminescent jets from partially blocked dust.
The photograph was released just before Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens’ release on December 17, 2015.
“Science fiction has been an inspiration to generations of scientists and engineers, and the film series Star Wars is no exception,”John Grunsfeld is an astronaut and NASA Science Mission Directorate associate administrator.
“There is no stronger case for the motivational power of real science than the discoveries that come from the Hubble Space Telescope as it unravels the mysteries of the universe.”
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