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To celebrate each new year of observing,
the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope captures stunning new images of the sky
This year for its 24th birthday
the space telescope has released a new image of part of NGC 2174
This region, also known as the Monkey Head Nebula,
is filled with young stars embedded within bright wisps of cosmic gas and dust
Episode 73: Hubble revisits the Monkey Head Nebula for 24th birthday snap
Nebulae are a favourite target for Hubble
Their colourful plumes of gas and fiery bright stars create ethereally beautiful pictures
Some of Hubble's most beautiful and popular images have been of nebulae
for example, take the telescope's striking image of the Ring Nebula released last year
or this delicate and beautiful infrared image of the Horsehead Nebula
produced to celebrate Hubble's 23rd anniversary
In 2012 Hubble viewed the Tarantula Nebula to commemorate its 22nd birthday
and for its 21st snapped the stunning cosmic rose Arp 273
Now, to celebrate its 24th year in orbit
Hubble has revisited part of NGC 2174
more commonly known as the Monkey Head Nebula
Dark brown and rust coloured dust clouds billow outwards
framed against a background of bright blue gas
These striking hues are formed by combining several Hubble images
taken with different coloured filters to reveal a broad range of colours not normally visible to the human eye
This is not the first time Hubble has turned its gaze to the Monkey Head Nebula
Sitting about 6400 light-years away in the constellation of Orion,
NGC 2174 was previously captured by Hubble in 2011
The violent stellar nursery contains all the ingredients needed for star formation
However, the recipe for cooking up new stars isn't very efficient
and most of these ingredients are wasted
as the cloud of gas and dust gradually disperses
The rate at which the nebula disperses is accelerated by the presence of fiery hot young stars
which trigger high velocity winds that help to blow the gas outwards.
Launched in 1990,
the Hubble Space Telescope has witnessed countless cosmic marvels in its 24 years in orbit.
Capturing the elegance of nature,
it is a unique window into the Universe and continues to astound us year after year
with stunning images and cutting-edge science.
Happy 24th birthday Hubble!
Hubblecast is produced by ESA/Hubble at the European Southern Observatory in Germany.
The Hubble mission is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency.
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Hubble Space Telescope revisits the Monkey Head Nebula for 24th birthday snap WWW.GOODNEWS.WS

1070 Folder Collection
稲葉白兎 published on August 28, 2014
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