In the year 1990, Hubble Space Telescopes were launched by NASA, and on April 25, it will be 33 years since the launch of Hubble, and Astronomers are celebrating NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope’s 33rd launch anniversary with an awe-inspiring glimpse of a nearby star-forming region, NGC 1333.The nebula is located in the Perseus molecular cloud, approximately 960 light-years away. Through its unique capability to acquire images from ultraviolet to near-infrared light, Hubble reveals an exuberant cauldron of glowing gasses and dark dust stirred and blown around by hundreds of nearly formed stars within the obscure cloud. Although Hubble’s image appears vivid, the majority of the star formation firestorm is hidden behind a thick layer of fine dust, essentially soot. The blackness in the image is not empty space but rather filled with obscuring dust. This ethereal anniversary photo from Hubble serves as a reminder of the breathtaking universe we have yet to discover.
This incredible image of the nebula NGC 6559, captured by the Hubble telescope, provides a glimpse into the complex and fascinating process of star formation. Peering through a veil of dust on the edge of a giant cloud of cold molecular hydrogen, Hubble reveals the raw material for fabricating new stars and planets under the relentless pull of gravity. Stellar winds from the bright blue star at the top are blowing through a curtain of dust, causing its light to scatter at blue wavelengths. Meanwhile, a bright, super-hot star can be seen shining through filaments of obscuring dust, looking like the Sun shining through scattered clouds. A diagonal string of fainter stars appears reddish due to dust filtering starlight and letting more red light get through. This image demonstrates that star formation is a chaotic, unpredictable process in our ever-changing universe.
The bottom of the picture of NGC 1333 provides a keyhole peek deep into the dark nebula, where Hubble captures the reddish glow of ionized hydrogen that looks like a fireworks finale. This is caused by pencil-thin jets shooting out from newly forming stars, surrounded by circumstellar disks and powerful magnetic fields that direct two parallel beams of hot gas deep into space – like a double light saber from science fiction films – and sculpt patterns on the hydrogen cocoon. These jets are a star’s birth announcement and offer an example of the time when our Sun and planets formed inside such a dusty molecular cloud, 4.6 billion years ago, in a mosh pit of frantic stellar birth more energetic and massive than NGC 1333.
Hubble Space Telescope, a legendary telescope that was launched into orbit around Earth on April 25, 1990, by NASA astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. Since its deployment, the Hubble Space Telescope has made approximately 1.6 million observations of nearly 52,000 celestial targets, providing a wealth of knowledge about the universe. The data collected by the telescope is stored for public access in the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes, located at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland.The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA, the United States’ space agency, and ESA, the European Space Agency. It is managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), also located in Baltimore, Maryland, is responsible for conducting Hubble and Webb science operations. STScI is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, which is based in Washington, D.C.