A beautiful “Cosmic Reef” image released for the Hubble Space Telescope 30th anniversary shows some of the instrument’s incredible features.
Three decades ago, Hubble launched itself into space on a mission to open humanity’s eyes to the wonders of the cosmos.
The new Hubble image shows two neighboring clouds of dust in all their glory: the giant red nebula NGC 2014 and a smaller blue nebula nearby called NGC 2020.
“This image is incredible, it’s really showing how powerful Hubble is,” said Elena Sabbi, an astrophysicist at the Space Telescope Science Institute. Space.com. “Today, he has the sharpest eyes he has ever had.”
These brilliant stellar birthplaces are part of the much larger star-forming region known as the Great Magellanic Cloud, a Milky Way satellite galaxy some 163,000 light-years away. Earth.
According NASA, NGC 2014 is made up of many bright stars much more massive than our Sun, and NGC 2020 is made up of a single giant star that is about 200,000 times brighter than our Sun.
“The Hubble Space Telescope has shaped the imagination of an entire generation, inspiring not just scientists, but almost everyone,” said Günther Hasinger, director of sciences at the European Space Agency (ESA), in a declaration. “It is critical to the excellent and long-lasting cooperation between NASA and ESA.”