Space

Hubble gallery showcases 30 cosmic gems visible to amateur astronomers

Hubble gallery showcases 30 co...
An image of Caldwell 45 (NGC 5248), a spiral galaxy located some 59 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Bootes
An image of Caldwell 45 (NGC 5248), a spiral galaxy located some 59 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Bootes
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A newly processed Hubble image showing a small section of the famous Coalsack Nebula
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A newly processed Hubble image showing a small section of the famous Coalsack Nebula
An image of Caldwell 29 (NGC 5005), a well-formed spiral galaxy that harbors a supermassive black hole at its center
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An image of Caldwell 29 (NGC 5005), a well-formed spiral galaxy that harbors a supermassive black hole at its center
An image of Caldwell 45 (NGC 5248), a spiral galaxy located some 59 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Bootes
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An image of Caldwell 45 (NGC 5248), a spiral galaxy located some 59 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Bootes
A shot of the loose global star cluster Caldwell 81 (NGC 6352)
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A shot of the loose global star cluster Caldwell 81 (NGC 6352)
A Hubble image of the globular cluster Caldwell 78 (NGC 6541) which is located some 22,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Corona Australis
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A Hubble image of the globular cluster Caldwell 78 (NGC 6541) which is located some 22,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Corona Australis
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NASA has released a collection of 50 stunning Hubble images to celebrate the veteran telescope’s 30th anniversary, which took place earlier this year. The images show 30 cosmic objects, ranging from planetary nebulae to galaxies in incredible detail, revealing the diverse and striking beauty of the universe on a massive scale.

The Hubble Space Telescope rode into orbit in the cargo bay of the Space Shuttle Discovery on April 24th, 1990 with a mission to make high-resolution observations of the heavens that would transform humanity's understanding of the universe. Sadly, the flagship telescope’s early years were not without incident. Soon after launch the telescope experienced a series of critical setbacks, that required five return shuttle missions to correct.

Whilst phenomenally expensive, these efforts allowed Hubble to survive and continue its mission, which over the course of the next 30 years would yield countless revelations as to the nature of the cosmos, and spawn a cornucopia of breathtaking astronomy images.

To mark the telescope’s 30th anniversary, NASA has curated a collection of 50 newly processed Hubble images that focus on astronomical objects contained within the Caldwell catalog. Created in the 1980s by British astronomer Sir Patrick Caldwell-Moore, the catalog contains 109 objects that are bright enough to be seen by amateur astronomers using commercial telescopes, binoculars, or in some cases the naked eye.

A Hubble image of the globular cluster Caldwell 78 (NGC 6541) which is located some 22,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Corona Australis
A Hubble image of the globular cluster Caldwell 78 (NGC 6541) which is located some 22,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Corona Australis

The new Hubble images reveal 30 Caldwell objects in magnificent detail. These shots had previously been used for scientific purposes, but had not been processed and made ready for public consumption until this year.

The updated images have been added to those from an earlier 2019 release, bringing the grand total of Caldwell objects observed by Hubble up to 87, leaving just 22 unaccounted for.

Visit Hubble’s Caldwell Catalog on Flickr to see the images in all their high-res glory.

Source: NASA

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