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Hubble Turns 20

April 25, 2010

One of the most popular, famous and long-lived science experiment, Hubble Telescope Observatory, celebrates it’s 20th anniversary this year. To celebrate this occasion NASA has released this recent picture taken by Hubble telescope which is just magnificent. Hubble was launched on April 24th 1990 and since then it has sent back thousands of images and huge amount of data which has garnered so much of public and well as scientific community’s interest.

About this new image, NASA press release says ” NASA is releasing today a brand new Hubble photo of a small portion of one of the largest seen star-birth regions in the galaxy, the Carina Nebula. Towers of cool hydrogen laced with dust rise from the wall of the nebula. The scene is reminiscent of Hubble’s classic “Pillars of Creation” photo from 1995, but is even more striking in appearance. The image captures the top of a three-light-year-tall pillar of gas and dust that is being eaten away by the brilliant light from nearby bright stars. The pillar is also being pushed apart from within, as infant stars buried inside it fire off jets of gas that can be seen streaming from towering peaks like arrows sailing through the air.

The different colors you see are the result of emission from different gases such as Hydrogen, Oxygen, Helium and are dpendent on their concentration , temperature and so on. On the the top of the image you can witness the formation of a new star where it is spinning in the center and forming a thin disc on its exterior where planet formation might take place. You can take a look at this video which pans the above image, also called as Mystic Mountain. You can find more views of this Mystic Mountain here


Source: NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)

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