Wednesday, September 16, 2009

New Images from the Repaired Hubble Telescope

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This image shows the planetary nebula, catalogued as NGC 6302, but more popularly called the Bug Nebula or the Butterfly Nebula. The
Wide Field camera 3 (WFC3), a new camera aboard NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope was installed by NASA astronauts in May 2009, during the servicing mission to upgrade and repair the 19-year-old Hubble telescope. NGC 6302 lies within our Milky Way Galaxy, roughly 3,800 light-years away in the constellation Scorpius. The glowing gas is the star’s outer layers, expelled over about 2,200 years. The “butterfly” stretches for more than two light-years, which is about half the distance from the sun to the nearest star, Alpha Centauri. Image released by NASA on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2009.

(Above) Click image for larger view:
This NASA Hubble Space Telescope image creates a picture composed of gas and dust, the pillar resides in a tempestuous stellar nursery called the Carina Nebula, located 7,500 light-years away in the southern constellation Carina. The image shows that astronomers are given a much more complete view of the pillar and its contents when distinct details not seen at visible wavelengths are uncovered in near-infrared light. Scorching radiation and fast winds (streams of charged particles) from these stars are sculpting the pillar and causing new stars to form within it. Streamers of gas and dust can be seen flowing off the top of the structure.

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An image taken by the refurbished Hubble Space Telescope shows Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 6217. Image released by NASA on Wednesday, Sept. 9.

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An image taken by the refurbished Hubble Space Telescope shows a panoramic view of a colorful assortment of 100,000 stars residing in the crowded core of a giant star cluster, Globular Star Cluster Omega Centauri.

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An image taken by the refurbished Hubble Space Telescope shows a clash among members of a famous galaxy quintet reveals an assortment of stars across a wide color range, from young, blue stars to aging, red stars. Image released by NASA on Wednesday, Sept. 9.

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This image captured by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field and Planetary Camera-2 and released in 2001 shows an unusual edge-on galaxy, revealing details of its warped dusty disk and showing how colliding galaxies spawn the formation of new generations of stars. During observations of the galaxy the camera, designed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory passed a milestone taking its 100,000th image since shuttle astronauts installed it in the Hubble in 1993.

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Resembling the fury of a raging sea, this image actually shows a bubbly ocean of glowing hydrogen gas and small amounts of other elements such as oxygen and sulfur. The photograph, taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope on May 29-30, 1999, captures a small region within M17, a hotbed of star formation. M17, also known as the Omega or Swan Nebula, is located about 5,500 light-years away in the constellation Sagittarius. The image was released to commemorate the thirteenth anniversary of Hubble’s launch on April 24, 1990.

(Above) Click image for larger view:
An image of the center of the Omega Nebula, a hotbed of newly born stars wrapped in colorful blankets of glowing gas and cradled in an enormous cold, dark hydrogen cloud. This stunning picture was taken April 1 and 2, 2002 by the Advanced Camera for Surveys aboard NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. The region of the nebula shown in this photograph is about 3,500 times wider than our solar system. The nebula, also called M17 and the Swan Nebula, resides 5,500 light-years away in the constellation Sagittarius.

(Above) Click image for larger view:
An image of a pillar of gas and dust. Called the Cone Nebula (NGC 2264) because in ground-based images it has a conical shape, this giant pillar resides in a turbulent star-forming region. This picture, taken April 2, 2002, by the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) aboard NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, shows the upper 2.5 light-years of the nebula, a height that equals 23 million roundtrips to the moon. The entire nebula is 7 light-years long. The Cone Nebula resides 2,500 light-years away in the constellation Monoceros.

(Above) Click image for larger view:
January 2000 image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope of Keyhole Nebula NGC 1999, a nebula in the constellation Orion, about 1,500 light-years from the earth, in a region of our Milky Way galaxy where new stars are formed actively. The nebula shines because the light from an embedded source illuminates its dust; the nebula does not emit any visible light of its own. The nebula is illuminated by a bright, recently formed star, visible to the left of center. Its mass is estimated to be 3.5 times that of the sun.

THESE NEW IMAGES FROM THE HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE ARE simply amazing. I like that our nation makes these images available for everyone to view. And, the deeper we see into space, the more incredible it gets. Be sure and click on these images for a visual treat, which is a big part of what this blog is about.

Via Sacbee.


Maureen said...

Mind boggling. How can the skeptics believe we, on our little speck of a planet, are alone in the universe anyway?

John Foster said...

I have no idea, Maureen. That is an awfully egotistical belief. Once we discover we are not alone, it will be like throwing a wrench in a working fan. Notice I said "working." Religion, (the fan) isn't and has never been, a well-oiled machine. Religion has been the cause of most wars, suffering. When it works, it is good. Maybe we all out to believe we come from ONE maker, for a while.

Maureen said...

There was a great great Star Trek Next Generation about how they discover that all the bipod species throughout the galaxy were from the same source. I like to think of it as the truth.

Laura@popdesign said...

These images are absolutely awesome

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