NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has captured many stunning images over its lifetime – here are five of the most stunning.
First conceived in the 1940s, the Hubble Space Telescope (or Hubble for short) was launched on April 24, 1990 by the US Space Agency.
Named after the astronomer Edwin Powell Hubble (1889-1953), the instrument currently hovers about 340 miles above the Earth’s surface and completes 15 orbits per day.
It is one of NASA’s four major observatories along with the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Spitzer Space Telescope.
Numerous scientific observations that have advanced human understanding of the universe can be attributed to Hubble.
And while the telescope’s list of achievements is long, among its most notable accomplishments is helping astronomers determine the age of the universe and observing the rate at which it is expanding.
NASA has called the instrument one of mankind’s greatest scientific inventions.
Since its inception, the device has garnered more than a million observations.
Many of these contain detailed images of the birth and death of stars and galaxies billions of light years away.
Below we share some of the most stunning images the device has captured over the past decade.
1. The Butterfly Nebula (2020)
Perhaps one of the most stunning images of NGC 6302, or the “Butterfly Nebula,” this photo was released by NASA on June 18, 2020.
It shows the Butterfly Nebula across a full spectrum of light, from the near-ultraviolet to the near-infrared, to “help researchers better understand the mechanics at work in its technicolor-colored gas ‘wings,'” NASA said.
The star(s) at its center are responsible for the nebula’s wings, which are regions of heated gas in excess of 36,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
NGC 6302 is between 2,500 and 3,800 light-years away in the constellation Scorpio.
2. The Saturn Opposition (2018)
One of the most iconic photos of Saturn was taken by Hubble.
Released by NASA on July 26, 2018, the image provides a detailed depiction of Saturn’s magnificent ring system.
Saturn was only about 1.36 billion miles from Earth when this image was taken — that’s as close as it’s ever been.
3. The Veil Nebula (2015)
This image, released September 24, 2015, shows a section of the expanding remnant of a supernova explosion from 8,000 years ago, NASA said.
Dubbed the Veil Nebula, the space junk is located about 2,100 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus, the Swan.
The entire nebula is 110 light-years across.
4. The Pillars of Creation (2015)
This image of part of the Eagle Nebula was released by NASA on January 5, 2015.
Hubble scientists captured the photo in near-infrared light to show incredible stellar detail behind the nebula, made up of clouds of gas and dust.
New stars not seen in visible-light images can also be seen at the tops of the pillars.
5. The Herbig Haro Jet HH24 (2015)
NASA described this image as “a cosmic lightsaber with two blades.”
At center, a newborn star, partially obscured by dust, is spewing out brilliant twin rays.
The photo was published on December 17, 2015, shortly before the release of the film Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
“Science fiction has been an inspiration to generations of scientists and engineers, and the Star Wars film series is no exception,” said John Grunsfeld, astronaut and deputy administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.
“There is no more motivating force for real science than the discoveries the Hubble Space Telescope is making in unraveling the mysteries of the universe.”
This story originally appeared on the sun and is reproduced here with permission.
https://nypost.com/2022/04/11/five-mind-blowing-hubble-space-telescope-images-from-the-past-decade/ Five stunning Hubble Space Telescope images from the past decade