Hubble Gon’ Hubble: Image From Old Telescope Astounds Space Nerds

Hubble Gon’ Hubble: Image From Old Telescope Astounds Space Nerds

Hubble is neither gone nor forgotten.

Especially when it still contributes to the incredible space imagery. 

NASA's new image shows bright turquoise plumes rippling through the Milky Way's companion galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud.


The venerable Hubble Space Telescope captured this stunning view of the Tarantula Nebula, within the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a satellite dwarf galaxy of the Milky Way located about 163,000 light-years from Earth. The LMC is among the closest galaxies to Earth and is visible to the naked eye as a faint cloud in the Southern Hemisphere sky. 


A bright, glowing plume of gas and glittering stars are captured in the photo. Tarantula Nebula's turquoise plumes and nebulous strands look like ocean currents flooding the LMC.


The Hubble Space Telescope captured bright turquoise plumes and nebulous strands of the Tarantula Nebula, located within the Large Magellanic Cloud. (Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA: acknowledgement: Josh Barrington)


"The Hubble Space Telescope has peeked many times into this galaxy, releasing stunning images of the whirling clouds of gas and sparkling stars," NASA officials wrote in a statement. 


However, "in most images of the LMC the colour is completely different to that seen here," the statement says. "For this image, researchers substituted the customary R filter, which selects the red light, and replaced it by a filter letting through the near-infrared light. In traditional images, the hydrogen gas appears pink because it shines most brightly in red. Here, however, other less prominent emission lines dominate in the blue and green filters." 


An archived pure parallel project (APPP) took this image of the LMC using Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 and other science instruments.


A wide range of astronomical features and effects can be studied using APPP data, including gravitational lensing, cosmic shear, stars of varying masses, and distant galaxies. To paint an even more detailed picture of the cosmos, the data can also be complemented with observations collected at other wavelengths.


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