back to top

NASA Just Released This Image To Celebrate The Hubble Space Telescope's 25th Anniversary

It's full of stars. Happy birthday Hubble!

Posted on

Tomorrow marks 25 years of the Hubble Space Telescope orbiting Earth, so NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) just released this image to celebrate.

NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), A. Nota (ESA/STScI), and the Westerlund 2 Science Team

The image shows a star cluster with some of the most massive stars ever discovered. According to ESA:

In this image, the sparkling centrepiece of Hubble's silver anniversary fireworks is a giant cluster of about 3000 stars called Westerlund 2. The cluster resides in a raucous stellar breeding ground known as Gum 29, located 20 000 light-years away in the constellation Carina.

The stellar nursery is difficult to observe because it is surrounded by dust, but Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 peered through the dusty veil in near-infrared light, giving astronomers a clear view of the cluster. Hubble's sharp vision resolves the dense concentration of stars in the central cluster, which measures only about 10 light-years across.

The giant star cluster is two million years old, and its stars are carving out a cavity in the surrounding region.

NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), A. Nota (ESA/STScI), and the Westerlund 2 Science Team
Advertisement

This is the stellar nursery known as Gum 29 that surrounds the cluster.

NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), A. Nota (ESA/STScI), and the Westerlund 2 Science Team

The pillars in the region are made from dense gas and dust and are "a few light years tall."

NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), A. Nota (ESA/STScI), and the Westerlund 2 Science Team

And the red spots of light you can see are very young stars, still surrounded by their dusty cocoons.

NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), A. Nota (ESA/STScI), and the Westerlund 2 Science Team

You can fly through the star cluster for yourself here:

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Every. Tasty. Video. EVER. The new Tasty app is here!

Dismiss