Return of the Hubble…
You might recall a few months ago there was a highly publicized Space Shuttle mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. With the exception of an image of the recent impact on Jupiter, Hubble has been quiet. Too quiet.
When new cameras are installed, it takes time to power everything up, test it, take calibration images, tweak your image processing routines, etc. But the wait is finally over.
Hubble released a whole slew of new images today. Let’s take a peek.
That is Eta Carina…well, actually only a small part of the system imaged by the new Wide Field Camera 3 (yes, there was a 1 and 2). Eta Carina is a spectacular, mysterious nearby system. Right now we think there are two stars. One of them is huge…over 100 times the mass of our Sun. They are surrounded by this gas and dust. The large star erupted spectacularly in 1841 and was the second brightest star in the sky by 1843 in spite of being about 8,000 light years away (for reference, Sirius, the brightest star in sky right now, is about 8.5 light years away). I only embedded a small image here…check it out in hires.
Now let’s move on to Omega Centauri.
Again, you will want to look at hires versions. This is only a small section of Omega Centauri which is the largest globular cluster in the Milky Way containing millions of stars. I will wait while you count them (don’t worry, there are only 100,000 or so in this image).
Hubble is back and better than ever. Be sure to check out the other images released today.
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