The 25th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope: the best photos of space
Photo: NASA / Hubble
25 years ago, on board the space shuttle NASA "Discovery" in a low orbit, 560 kilometers high, the Hubble Observatory was displayed above the Earth's surface. The total cost of the project, estimated for 1999, was $ 6 billion from the American side and 593 million euros, paid for by the European Space Agency.
For a quarter of a century the work of the tool of information received by him about outer space was enough to publish about 13 thousand research papers. In addition, the orbiting telescope, which still revolves around the Earth at a speed of about 27,000 km / h, has made more than 1 million photographs, from which one can judge the structure of the universe available for study.
The Hubble, named after the designer-inventor Edwin Hubble, is by far the most powerful orbiting telescope. At the same time, NASA plans to replace it with a more perfect James Webb orbiter with a mirror 6.5 m in diameter (Hubble 2.4 m). This will happen in the next few years.
In the collection are some of the best photographs of galaxies, nebulae, stars and planets made by the telescope in both visible and ultraviolet and infrared light. Most of the images were post-processed.
The Horsehead Nebula
The Hubble team annually produces a stunning photo to celebrate the anniversary of the launch of the space telescope on April 24, 1990. This time they presented the world with a photograph of the famous "Horsehead" Nebula, which is located in the constellation of Orion in 1500 light years from Earth.
This large galaxy may have been the first discovered spiral nebula. It is clear that her sleeves and dust strips pass in front of the satellite galaxy (on the left). This pair is about 31 million light-years away and officially belongs to a small constellation of Canes.
Spiral galaxy M33
The medium-sized galaxy M33 is also called the galaxy in the Triangle by the name of the constellation in which it is located. It is about 4 times smaller in radius than our Milky Way Galaxy and the Andromeda galaxy. The M33 is near the Milky Way, its angular dimensions are twice the size of the full moon, and it is perfectly visible in a good pair of binoculars.
This group of galaxies is called Stephan's quintet. However, only four galaxies from this group, located three hundred million light-years from us, participate in cosmic dance, then approaching and then moving away from each other. The superfluous find is pretty simple. Four interacting galaxies have a yellowish color and curved loops and tails, the shape of which is determined by the influence of destructive tidal gravitational forces. The bluish galaxy, located in the picture above to the left, is much closer to the rest, only 40 million light-years away.
The Andromeda Galaxy is the closest to our Milky Way from giant galaxies. Most likely, our galaxy looks about the same as this one. Hundreds of billions of stars that make up the Andromeda galaxy together give a visible diffuse glow. The individual stars in the image are actually the stars of our Galaxy, located much closer to the distant object.
The Lagoon Nebula
In the bright Lagoon Nebula there are many different astronomical objects. Particularly interesting objects include a bright scattered star cluster and several active regions of star formation.
The Cat's Eye Nebula
The Cat's Eye Nebula is one of the most famous planetary nebulae in the sky. Its memorable symmetrical shapes are visible in the central part of this spectacular image in artificial colors, specially processed to show a huge, but very weak halo from a gaseous substance having a diameter of about three light years.
A small constellation of 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 colorful stars are found. Blue reflective nebulae are scattered over the field.
Cosmic dust clouds, slightly glowing with reflected starlight, hide on the edge of a complex of molecular clouds of Halifax Cepheus, distant from us for 1200 light years.
The Crab Nebula
This confusion remained after the explosion of the star. Crab nebula is the result of a supernova explosion, which was observed in 1054 AD. The remnant of the supernova 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 the gravitational lens
It is a mirage from a gravitational lens. The bright red galaxy pictured in this photo distorted the light from the more distant blue galaxy with its gravity. Most often, such a distortion of light leads to the appearance of two images of a distant galaxy, but in the case of a very precise imposition of a galaxy and a gravitational lens, the images merge into a horseshoe - an 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 the Planets
How are the planets formed? To try to figure this out, the Hubble Space Telescope received a mission to look closely 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 belt of the constellation Orion. The insets on this photo show numerous pro-plods, many of them are star crèches, in which, probably, planetary systems are forming.
Star Cluster R136
In the center of the star-forming area of the Golden Fish is a gigantic cluster of the largest, hot and massive amongst all known stars. These stars form a cluster, captured in this image.
Galaxy Silver Dollar
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 call it simply "a galaxy in Sculptor", because it is within the southern constellation Sculptor. This dust galaxy is located at a distance of 10 million light years from us.
One of the closest spiral galaxies to us. From the distance that we share with her, equal to 15 million light-years, she looks quite ordinary. However, if we look in more detail at the M83 center with the help of the largest telescopes, this area will appear before us a stormy and noisy place.
The Ring Nebula
It really looks like a ring in the sky. Therefore, hundreds of years ago, astronomers called this nebula according to its unusual form. It is classified as a class of planetary nebulae. These are gas clouds that are thrown out by stars resembling the Sun at the end of their lives. One of the earliest images of Hubble.
Post and jets in the Carina Nebula
This space gas-dust column has a width of two light years. 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 away from us.
The center of the globular cluster Omega Centauri
In the center of the globular cluster of Omega Centauri, the stars are packed ten thousand times denser than in the vicinity of the Sun. The image shows a lot of weak yellow and white stars, less than our Sun, several orange red giants, and also random blue stars. If suddenly two stars collide, then one more massive star can form, or they form a new double system.
The giant cluster distorts and splits the image of the galaxy
This image is one of the only unusual, bead-like, blue ring-shaped galaxy, which, incidentally, was located behind a giant cluster of galaxies. According to the latest research, at least 330 images of individual distant galaxies can be found in the picture. This magnificent photograph was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in November 2004.
Multicolored Trifid Nebula allows you to explore cosmic contrasts. Known also as the M20, it is about 5,000 light-years away in the nebula of the constellation Sagittarius. The size of the nebula is about 40 light years.
A fantastic pile of young blue star clusters, gigantic glowing gas clouds and dark dust veins surround the central region of the active galaxy Centaurus Centaurus A is close to Earth, 10 million light-years away.
The Butterfly Nebula
Bright clusters and nebulae in the night sky of planet Earth are often given names by the names of flowers or insects, and the nebula NGC 6302 is no exception. The central star of this planetary nebula is extremely hot: its surface temperature is about 250 thousand degrees Celsius.
Two colliding galaxies with merged spiral arms
This remarkable space portrait depicts two colliding galaxies with merged spiral arms. Above and to the left of the large spiral galaxy you can see the third galaxy, which is also probably involved in the interaction. All these galaxies are located at a distance of about 450 million light-years from us in a cluster of galaxies in Hercules. At this distance, the image covers an area larger than 150,000 light years. And although this species seems very unusual, now scientists know that collisions and subsequent fusions of galaxies are not uncommon.
Spiral Galaxy NGC 3521
The spiral galaxy NGC 3521 is only 35 million light-years away from us in the direction of the constellation Leo. The galaxy, stretching for 50,000 light-years, has such features as irregularly shaped torn spiral arms decorated with dust, pinkish regions of star formation, and clusters of young bluish stars.
The kind of galaxy M104 resembles a hat, so it was called the Sombrero galaxy. The picture shows distinct dark bands of dust 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 disk of the galaxy, which we see almost from the rib.
M17: close-up view
Formed by stellar winds and radiation, these fantastic, wave-like formations are in the Omega nebula and enter the star formation region. The Omega Nebula is located in the nebula of the constellation Sagittarius and is 5500 light-years distant. Cloddy condensations of dense and cold gas and dust are illuminated by the radiation of stars in the image at the top right, in the future they can become places of star formation.
Nebula IRAS 05437 + 2502
It is still unknown what this nebula illuminates. Especially mysterious is a bright arc in the form of an inverted V, which outlines the upper edge of clouds of interstellar dust similar to the mountain, near the center of the picture. In general, this ghost-like ghost includes a small star-forming region filled with dark dust. It was first observed in the images obtained by the IRAS satellite in infrared light in 1983. Here is shown a remarkable, recently published image obtained by the Hubble Space Telescope. Although there are many new details on it, the cause of the appearance of a bright, clear arc could not be established.