Here Are 15 Breathtaking Images Captured by the Hubble Space Telescope

The Hubble Space Telescope, or simply Hubble, is a telescope that orbits outside the atmosphere, in a circular orbit around the planet Earth at 593 kilometers above sea level, with an orbital period between 96 and 97 minutes.

The Hubble Space Telescope orbits around the planet at an average speed of 28,000 km / h.

Baptized in honor of the astronomer Edwin Hubble, it was placed in orbit on March 10, 1990, in the STS-31 mission as a joint project of NASA and the European Space Agency, inaugurating the Great Observatories program.

The Hubble Space Telescope in orbit as seen from the departing Space Shuttle Atlantis, flying Servicing Mission 4 (STS-125), the fifth and final Hubble mission. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
The Hubble Space Telescope in orbit as seen from the departing Space Shuttle Atlantis, flying Servicing Mission 4 (STS-125), the fifth and final Hubble mission. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Although not the first space telescope, Hubble is one of the largest and most versatile and is well known as both a vital research tool and a public relations boon for astronomy.

he history of the Hubble Space Telescope can be traced back as far as 1946, to the astronomer Lyman Spitzer’s paper “Astronomical advantages of an extraterrestrial observatory“.

Hubble can obtain images with an optical resolution greater than 0.04 seconds of arc.

NASA chart depicting evolution of detecting the early universe, from ground-based space telescopes to HST and the future JWST. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
NASA chart depicting the evolution of detecting the early universe, from ground-based space telescopes to HST and the future JWST. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Thanks to observations made by the Hubble Space Telescope, scientists from nearly 50 different countries have published a plethora of discoveries in around 4,800 scientific studies.

Hubble has served as an astronomical tool of unprecedented importance.

Evidence of that is a discovery made On March 3, 2016, when researchers using Hubble data announced the discovery of the farthest known galaxy to date: GN-z11.

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This rich and dense smattering of stars is a massive globular cluster, a gravitationally bound collection of stars that orbits the Milky Way. Globular clusters are denser and more spherical than open star clusters like the famous Pleiades. They typically contain hundreds of thousands of stars that are thought to have formed at roughly the same time. Studies have shown that this globular cluster, named NGC 6139, is home to an aging population of stars. Most globular clusters orbiting the Milky Way are estimated to be over 10 billion years old; as a result, they contain some of the oldest stars in our galaxy, formed very early in the galaxy’s history. However, their role in galactic evolution is still a matter of study. This cluster is seen roughly in the direction of the center of the Milky Way, in the constellation of Scorpius (the Scorpion). This constellation is a goldmine of fascinating astronomical objects. Hubble has set its sights on Scorpius many times to observe objects such as the Butterfly Nebula, surprising binary star systems, and other dazzling globular clusters. For the full story, head to nasa.gov/Hubble Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA #NASA #Hubble #space #science #astronomy #universe #telescope #cosmos #HubbleFriday #cluster #MilkyWay #Pleiades #stars #galaxy

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This image taken by Hubble shows a beautiful spiral galaxy called NGC 6744. At first glance, it resembles our Milky Way albeit larger, measuring more than 200,000 light-years across compared to a 100,000-light-year diameter for our home galaxy. NGC 6744 is similar to our home galaxy in more ways than one. Like the Milky Way, NGC 6744 has a prominent central region packed with old yellow stars. Moving away from the galactic core, one can see parts of the dusty spiral arms painted in shades of pink and blue; while the blue sites are full of young star clusters, the pink ones are regions of active star formation, indicating that the galaxy is still very lively. In 2005, a supernova named 2005at (not visible in this image) was discovered within NGC 6744, adding to the argument of this galaxy’s liveliness. SN 2005at is a Type Ic supernova, formed when a massive star collapses on itself and loses its hydrogen envelope. For more information, head to nasa.gov/hubble Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA; acknowledgment: Judy Schmidt #NASA #Hubble #space #science #astronomy #universe #telescope #cosmos #galaxy #spiral #lightyears #supernova

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#HubbleClassic In its first glimpse of the heavens following the successful December 1999 servicing mission, Hubble captured this majestic view of the planetary nebula NGC 2392, the glowing remains of a dying Sun-like star roughly 5,000 light-years away. First spied by William Herschel in 1787, this stellar relic is nicknamed the Eskimo Nebula because, when viewed through ground-based telescopes, it resembles a face surrounded by a fur parka. As revealed in this Hubble image, the "parka" is really a disk of material embellished with a ring of comet-shaped objects, with their tails streaming away from the central, dying star. The Eskimo's "face" also contains some fascinating details. Although this bright central region resembles a ball of twine, it is, in reality, a bubble of material being blown into space by the central star's intense "wind" of high-speed material. Credit: NASA/Hubble #NASA #Hubble #space #science #astronomy #universe #telescope #cosmos #nebula #Eskimo

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This is perhaps one of the most iconic images captured b the Hubble Space Telescope:

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#HubbleClassic These eerie, dark pillar-like structures are columns of cool interstellar hydrogen gas and dust that are also incubators for new stars. The towering pillars are about 5 light-years tall. Stars are being born deep inside the pillars, which are made of cold hydrogen gas laced with dust. The pillars are part of a small region of the Eagle Nebula, a vast star-forming region 6,500 light-years from Earth. The pillars are bathed in the blistering ultraviolet light from a grouping of young, massive stars located off the top of the image. Streamers of gas can be seen bleeding off the pillars as the intense radiation heats and evaporates it into space. Denser regions of the pillars are shadowing material beneath them from the powerful radiation. The dark, finger-like feature at bottom right may be a smaller version of the giant pillars. Credit: NASA/Hubble #NASA #Hubble #space #science #astronomy #universe #telescope #cosmos #nebula

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As far as galaxies are concerned, size can be deceptive. Some of the largest galaxies in the Universe are dormant, while some dwarf galaxies, such as ESO 553-46 imaged here by Hubble, can produce stars at a hair-raising rate. In fact, ESO 553-46 has one of the highest rates of star formation of the 1,000 or so galaxies nearest to the Milky Way. No mean feat for such a diminutive galaxy! Clusters of young, hot stars are speckling the galaxy, burning with a fierce blue glow. The intense radiation they produce also causes surrounding gas to light up, which is bright red in this image. The small mass and distinctive coloring of galaxies of this type prompted astronomers to classify them, appropriately, as blue compact dwarfs (BCD). Lacking the clear core and structure that many larger galaxies — such as the Milky Way — have, BCDs such as ESO 553-46 are composed of many large clusters of stars bound together by gravity. Their chemical makeup is interesting to astronomers, since they contain relatively little dust and few elements heavier than helium, which are produced in stars and distributed via supernova explosions. Such conditions are strikingly similar to those that existed in the early Universe, when the first galaxies were beginning to form. Credit: NASA/Hubble #NASA #Hubble #space #science #astronomy #universe #telescope #cosmos #galaxies #dwarfgalaxies #stars #hubblefriday

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#HubbleClassic Though the Cat's Eye Nebula was one of the first planetary nebulae to be discovered, it is one of the most complex such nebulae ever seen. Planetary nebulae form when Sun-like stars gently eject their outer gaseous layers, creating amazing and confounding shapes. The Cat's Eye Nebula, also known as NGC 6543, is a visual "fossil record" of the dynamics and late evolution of a dying star. It is estimated to be 1,000 years old. In 1994, initial Hubble observations revealed the nebula's surprisingly intricate structures, including gas shells, jets of high-speed gas, and unusual shock-induced knots of gas. Subsequent Hubble images showed a bull's-eye pattern of eleven or more concentric rings, or shells, of dust around the Cat's Eye. Each "ring" is actually the edge of a spherical bubble seen projected onto the sky — that's why it appears bright along its outer edge. Observations suggest the star that created the Cat's Eye Nebula ejected its mass in a series of pulses at 1,500-year intervals. These convulsions created dust shells, each of which contains as much mass as all of the planets in our solar system combined (still only one percent of the Sun's mass). These concentric shells make a layered, onion-skin structure around the dying star. The view from Hubble is like seeing an onion cut in half, where each skin layer is discernible. Credit: NASA/Hubble #NASA #Hubble #space #science #astronomy #universe #telescope #cosmos #nebula

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#HubbleClassic This series of images shows an expanding halo of light around a distant star, named V838 Monocerotis. The illumination of interstellar dust comes from the red supergiant star at the middle of the image, which gave off a flashbulb-like pulse of light 2 years ago. V838 Mon is located about 20,000 light-years away from Earth in the direction of the constellation Monoceros, placing the star at the outer edge of our Milky Way galaxy. Called a light echo, the expanding illumination of a dusty cloud around the star has been revealing remarkable structures ever since the star suddenly brightened for several weeks in early 2002. Though Hubble has followed the light echo in several snapshots, this image shows swirls or eddies in the dusty cloud for the first time. These eddies are probably caused by turbulence in the dust and gas around the star as they slowly expand away. The dust and gas were likely ejected from the star in a previous explosion, similar to the 2002 event, which occurred some tens of thousands of years ago. The surrounding dust remained invisible and unsuspected until suddenly illuminated by the brilliant explosion of the central star. The Hubble telescope has imaged V838 Mon and its light echo several times since the star's outburst in January 2002, in order to follow the constantly changing appearance of the dust as the pulse of illumination continues to expand away from the star at the speed of light. During the outburst event, the normally faint star suddenly brightened, becoming 600,000 times more luminous than our Sun. It was thus one of the brightest stars in the entire Milky Way, until it faded away again in April 2002. The star has some similarities to a class of objects called "novae," which suddenly increase in brightness due to thermonuclear explosions at their surfaces; however, the detailed behavior of V838 Mon, in particular its extremely red color, has been completely different from any previously known nova. Credit: NASA/Hubble #NASA #Hubble #space #science #astronomy #universe #telescope #cosmos

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#HubbleClassic This colorful cosmic tapestry shows a 50-light-year-wide view of the heart of the Carina Nebula where a maelstrom of star birth and death is taking place. The nebula is sculpted by outflowing winds and scorching ultraviolet radiation from the monster stars that inhabit this region. In the process, these stars are shredding the surrounding material that is the last vestige of the giant cloud from which the stars were born. This huge mosaic was released in April 2007 to celebrate Hubble's 17th anniversary. Credit for Hubble image: NASA, ESA, N. Smith (University of California, Berkeley), and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) Color information from CTIO: N. Smith (University of California, Berkeley) and NOAO/AURA/NSF #NASA #Hubble #space #science #astronomy #universe #telescope #cosmos #nebula #stars

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