25th anniversary of the Hubble telescope: the best photos of the cosmos
Photo: NASA / Hubble
25 years ago, the automatic Hubble Observatory was launched aboard the NASA space shuttle Spacecraft to a low orbit 560 kilometers above the Earth’s surface. The total cost of the project, according to 1999, amounted to $ 6 billion from the American side and 593 million euros paid by the European Space Agency.
For a quarter of a century, the work of the tool of the information it received about outer space was enough for publishing about 13 thousand research papers. In addition, the orbital telescope, which still revolves around the Earth at a speed of about 27 thousand km / h, took more than 1 million photographs from which one can judge the structure available for studying the Universe.
Hubble, named after designer and inventor Edwin Hubble, is by far the most powerful orbital telescope. At the same time, NASA plans to replace it with the more advanced orbital observatory "James Webb" with a mirror diameter of 6.5 m (Hubble - 2.4 m). This will happen in the next few years.
The collection includes some of the best photographs of galaxies, nebulae, stars and planets, taken with a telescope both in visible and in ultraviolet and infrared light. Most of the images were post-processed.
Hubble's team annually releases a stunning photograph to celebrate the anniversary of the launch of the space telescope on April 24, 1990. This time they presented to the world a photograph of the famous Horsehead Nebula, which is located in the constellation Orion 1500 light years from Earth.
This large galaxy may have been the first spiral nebula discovered. It is clearly seen that its sleeves and dust bands pass in front of the satellite galaxy (left). This pair is about 31 million light-years away and officially belongs to the small constellation of the Hounds of Dogs.
Spiral Galaxy M33
The medium-sized galaxy M33 is also called the galaxy in the Triangle named after the constellation in which it is located. It is about 4 times smaller in radius than our Milky Way Galaxy and the Andromeda Galaxy. M33 is located near the Milky Way, its angular dimensions are twice the size of the full moon, and it can be clearly seen in good binoculars.
This group of galaxies is called the Stephan quintet. However, only four galaxies from this group, located three hundred million light years from us, participate in a cosmic dance, now drawing closer, now moving away from each other. The extra is quite simple to find. Four interacting galaxies have a yellowish color and curved loops and tails, the shape of which is due to the influence of destructive tidal gravitational forces. The bluish galaxy, located in the picture above at the left, is much closer than the rest, only 40 million light years from us.
The Andromeda Galaxy is the closest of our giant galaxies to our Milky Way. Most likely, our galaxy looks about the same as this one. The hundreds of billions of stars that make up the Andromeda galaxy together produce a visible diffuse glow. The individual stars in the image are in fact the stars of our Galaxy, located much closer to a distant object.
In the bright nebula Laguna there are many different astronomical objects. Particularly interesting objects include a bright open cluster of stars and several active star-forming regions.
The Feline Eye Nebula is one of the most famous planetary nebulae in the sky. Its memorable symmetrical forms are visible in the central part of this spectacular image in artificial colors, specially processed in order to show the huge, but very weak halo of a gaseous substance having a diameter of about three light years.
The small constellation Chameleon is located near the south pole of the World. The picture reveals the amazing features of a modest constellation, in which many dust nebulae and multi-colored stars are found. Blue reflective nebulae are scattered across the field.
Cosmic dust clouds, faintly glowing with reflected starlight, hide on the edge of the molecular cloud complex Halo Cepheus, which is 1200 light-years distant from us.
This confusion remained after the explosion of the star. The Crab Nebula is the result of a supernova explosion that was observed in 1054 AD. The supernova remnant is filled with mysterious fibers. The length of the Crab Nebula is ten light years. In the very center of the nebula is a pulsar - a neutron star with a mass equal to the mass of the Sun, which fits in an area the size of a small town.
Mirage from a gravitational lens
This is a mirage from a gravitational lens. The bright red galaxy depicted in this photo distorted the light from a more distant blue galaxy by its gravity. Most often, such a distortion of light leads to the appearance of two images of a distant galaxy, however, in the case of a very accurate superposition of the galaxy and the gravitational lens, the images merge into a horseshoe - almost closed ring. This effect was predicted by Albert Einstein 70 years ago.
Star V838 Mon
For unknown reasons, in January 2002, the outer shell of the V838 Mon star suddenly expanded, making it the brightest star in the entire Milky Way. Then she also suddenly became weak. Astronomers have never seen such a flash before.
The birth of planets
How are the planets formed? To try to figure it out, the Hubble Space Telescope was instructed to closely look at one of the most interesting of all the nebulae in the sky - the Great Orion Nebula. The Orion Nebula can be seen with the naked eye near the Orion constellation belt. The inserts in this photo show numerous proplids, many of them are stellar nurseries, in which probably planetary systems are forming.
R136 star cluster
In the center of the starfish region of Golden Fish is a giant cluster of the largest, hottest and massive among all the known stars. These stars form a cluster, captured in this image.
Galaxy Silver Dollar
The brilliant NGC 253 is one of the brightest spiral galaxies that we see, and at the same time one of the most dusty. Some call it the Silver Dollar Galaxy. Others simply call it the “Sculptor Galaxy” because it lies within the southern constellation Sculptor. This dusty galaxy is 10 million light-years away.
One of the closest spiral galaxies to us. From a distance that divides us with it, equal to 15 million light years, it looks completely normal. However, if you look more closely at the center of the M83 using the largest telescopes, this area will appear in front of us as a tumultuous and noisy place.
She really looks like a ring in the sky. Therefore, hundreds of years ago, astronomers named this nebula according to its unusual shape. It belongs to the class of planetary nebulae. These are gas clouds that emit stars that look like the sun at the end of their lives. One of the earliest snapshots of Hubble.
Pillar and Jets in the Carina Nebula
This cosmic gas and dust pillar is two light years wide. The structure is located in one of the largest star-forming regions of our Galaxy, the Carina Nebula, which is visible in the southern sky and is 7,500 light-years distant from us.
Ball Center Omega Centauri
In the center of the Omega Centaurius globular cluster, the stars are packed ten thousand times denser than in the vicinity of the Sun. The image shows a lot of faint yellow-white stars, smaller than our Sun, a few orange red giants, as well as random blue stars. If suddenly two stars collide, one more massive star may form, or they form a new binary system.
The giant cluster distorts and splits the image of the galaxy
This is a picture of a single unusual, bead-like, blue ring-shaped galaxy, which by chance turned out to be located behind a giant cluster of galaxies. According to recent studies, just in the picture you can find at least 330 images of individual distant galaxies. This magnificent photograph was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in November 2004.
The Multicolored Trifty Nebula allows you to explore cosmic contrasts. Also known as M20, it is about 5,000 light-years away in the nebula-rich constellation Sagittarius. The size of the nebula is about 40 light years.
A fantastic pile of young blue star clusters, giant luminous gas clouds and dark dust streaks surround the central region of the active galaxy Centaurus A. Centaurus A is located close to the Earth, at a distance of 10 million light years.
Bright clusters and nebulae in the night sky of the planet Earth are often given names by the names of flowers or insects, and the NGC 6302 nebula is no exception. The central star of this planetary nebula is exceptionally hot: its surface temperature is about 250 thousand degrees Celsius.
Two colliding galaxies with fused spiral arms
This wonderful cosmic portrait depicts two colliding galaxies with merged spiral arms. Above and to the left of a large spiral galaxy, one can see a third galaxy, which is also likely to be involved in the interaction. All these galaxies are about 450 million light-years from us in a cluster of galaxies in Hercules. At this distance, the image covers an area of over 150 thousand light years. And although this view seems very unusual, now scientists know that collisions and subsequent mergers of galaxies are not uncommon.
NGC 3521 Spiral Galaxy
The spiral galaxy NGC 3521 is only 35 million light-years away from us in the direction of the constellation Leo. The galaxy, which extends over 50,000 light-years, has features such as torn spiral arms of irregular shape, decorated with dust, pinkish areas of star formation and clusters of young bluish stars.
The look of the galaxy M104 looks like a hat, that's why it was called the Sombrero galaxy. The image shows distinct dark dust streaks and a bright halo of stars and globular clusters. The reasons why the Sombrero galaxy looks like a hat is an unusually large central star bulge and dense dark dust bands that are in the galaxy disk, which we see almost from the edge.
M17: close-up view
Formed by stellar winds and radiation, these fantastic, wave-like formations are found in the Omega Nebula and enter the region of star formation. The Omega Nebula is located in the nebula-rich constellation of Sagittarius and is removed at a distance of 5500 light years. Ragged thickenings of dense and cold gas and dust are illuminated by the stars in the image at the top right, in the future they may become places of star formation.
IRAS 05437 + 2502 Nebula
It is not yet known what illuminates this nebula. Particularly mysterious is the bright arc in the shape of an inverted V, which outlines the upper edge of mountain-like clouds of interstellar dust near the center of the picture. In general, this ghost-like nebula includes a small star-forming region filled with dark dust. It was first seen in images taken by the IRAS satellite in infrared light in 1983. Shown here is a wonderful, recently published image from the Hubble Space Telescope. Although many new details are visible on it, it was not possible to establish the cause of the bright, clear arc.