Categories: Hubble

Hubble Telescope Celebrates 25 Years in Space With Spectacular New Image

Images from space don’t get any prettier than this. A new image from the Hubble Space Telescope was released today to commemorate a quarter century of exploring the Solar System and beyond since the launch of the telescope on April 24, 1990. It shows a giant cluster of about 3,000 stars called Westerlund 2, located 20,000 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Carina. NASA describes the new image as a “brilliant tapestry of young stars flaring to life resemble a glittering fireworks display.”

The Hubble Teams are giving away a few “gifts” to everyone to celebrate this silver anniversary — see below!

“Hubble has completely transformed our view of the universe, revealing the true beauty and richness of the cosmos” said John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. “This vista of starry fireworks and glowing gas is a fitting image for our celebration of 25 years of amazing Hubble science.”

The cluster is named after Swedish astronomer Bengt Westerlund who discovered the grouping in the 1960s.

You can get access to larger versions of the image here at ESA’s Hubble website, or at NASA’s HubbleSite.

There are anniversary events occurring around the US and the world. Here is a listing of at the Hubble anniversary site, where people can also find science articles, educational resources, downloadable presentations, and more:

And here’s a downloadable 25th anniversary gift for everyone: Hubble is offering a free ebook of 25 of Hubble’s most significant images, which can be found at this link or at iTunes.

See a stunning gallery of all the ‘anniversary’ images that have been released by the Hubble teams over the last 25 years at this Flickr gallery.

And finally, here’s an excellent visualization of a flight to the star cluster Westerlund 2:

Nancy Atkinson

Nancy has been with Universe Today since 2004, and has published over 6,000 articles on space exploration, astronomy, science and technology. She is the author of two books: "Eight Years to the Moon: the History of the Apollo Missions," (2019) which shares the stories of 60 engineers and scientists who worked behind the scenes to make landing on the Moon possible; and "Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos" (2016) tells the stories of those who work on NASA's robotic missions to explore the Solar System and beyond. Follow Nancy on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Nancy_A and and Instagram at and https://www.instagram.com/nancyatkinson_ut/

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