NASA Celebrates 28 Years Of Hubble Telescope With A Trip Through Lagoon Nebula

Posted: Apr 21 2018, 3:43pm CDT | by , Updated: Apr 22 2018, 1:09am CDT, in News | Latest Science News

 
NASA Celebrates 28 Years of Hubble Telescope with a Trip Through Lagoon Nebula
The colorful image of Lagoon Nebula taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. Credit: NASA, ESA, and STScI

Lagoon Nebula is a vast stellar nursery located 4,000 light-years away

Hubble Space Telescope marks its 28 years in space this week. To celebrate Hubble’s legacy, each year NASA releases spectacular new images of celestial objects. This year’s anniversary features a new image of Lagoon Nebula taken by Hubble telescope.

Lagoon Nebula, also known as Messier 8, is a giant interstellar cloud located some 4000 light-years away from Earth. The nebula is full of star-forming activity and is even visible to naked eye in clear, dark skies. The new colorful image of Lagoon Nebula reveals many hot stars, clouds of swirling gas and dust and cavities. At the center of this image is a giant star known as Herschel 36. The star is about 200,000 times brighter than our sun and is unleashing an enormous amount of ultraviolet radiation and hurricane-like stellar winds. Herschel 36 is a very active star because it is still quite young, only 1 million years old. By comparison, our star sun is 5 billion years old. Most stars live about 10 billion years, which means our sun is about halfway through its life.

Since Lagoon Nebula is a vast stellar nursery, 55 light-years wide and 20 light years tall, Hubble has been able to capture only a small fraction of the total nebula. But it shows this small part of the nebula in a remarkable detail and clarity.

Hubble observed the Lagoon Nebula not only in visible light but also in infrared wavelengths. Both images highlight the features of the nebula in two totally different perspectives.

“While the observations in the optical allow astronomers to study the gas in full detail, the infrared light cuts through the obscuring patches of dust and gas, revealing the more intricate structures underneath and the young stars hiding within it. Only by combining optical and infrared data can astronomers paint a complete picture of the ongoing processes in the nebula.” Hubble Space Telescope statement said.

Hubble telescope is in orbit since 24 April 1990 and has been sending back a treasure trove of data and images that have transformed our view of the universe. The telescope is located about 350 miles above Earth.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir. With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.

 

 

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