Sat. Jul 20th, 2019

Hubble unveils photo of Southern Crab Nebula to celebrate 29th birthday [photos]

The Southern Crab Nebula hubble telescope 29Hubble released an image of a red giant and white dwarf for the Telescope’s 29th anniversary in space.

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What makes the Southern Crab Nebula unique is that the white dwarf accretes material from its partner and spews out even more matter, creating the majestic structures seen in NASA’s photo.

The Southern Crab Nebula

Hubble explained in a press release that the red giant in the Southern Crab Nebula is shedding its outer layers in the last phase of its life before it too lives out its final years as a white dwarf. The gravity of the white dwarf attracts the red giant’s ejected material.

Eventually, the red giant will finish throwing off its outer layers, and stop feeding its white dwarf companion. Prior to this, there may also be more eruptions, creating even more intricate structures.

Astronomers first spotted the red giant in the late sixties. But at the time, it was assumed to be an ordinary star. Moreover, the first images showed the outer hourglass figure. It was only later, in 1999, that Hubble photographed its complicated nested structures. 

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Photo: NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI)

The Hubble Telescope turns 29

NASA launched the ESA Hubble Space Telescopes on the space shuttle Discovery on 24 April 1990. In doing so, it changed the way astronomers and the general public see the Universe.

And every year, the telescope takes a spectacular new image to image to celebrate another year in space. It also captured a pair of interacting galaxies called Arp 273 for its 21st anniversary.

Then in 2015, it photographed the Westerlund 2 cluster. The distorted shape of the larger of the two galaxies also shows signs of tidal interactions. The smaller galaxy also appears to pass through the larger one.

Hubble observes the universe in near-ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared light. In addition, the telescope has revolutionised astronomy and astrophysics with its discoveries.

These include identifying the first supermassive black hole in the heart of NGC 4261 and NGC 3115, our neighbouring galaxies.

Hubble Telescope Anniversary archive

Westerlund 2

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The cluster Westerlund 2 and its surroundings has been released to celebrate Hubble’s 25th year in orbit and a quarter of a century of new discoveries. The image’s central region, containing the star cluster, blends visible-light data taken by the Advanced Camera for Surveys and near-infrared exposures taken by the Wide Field Camera 3.Photo: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), A. Nota (ESA/STScI), and the Westerlund 2 Science Team

Arp 273

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This image of a pair of interacting galaxies called Arp 273 was released to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the launch of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The distorted shape of the larger of the two galaxies shows signs of tidal interactions with the smaller of the two.Photo: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

The Hunter

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This new Hubble image, captured and released to celebrate the telescope’s 23rd year in orbit, shows part of the sky in the constellation of Orion (The Hunter). Rising like a giant seahorse from turbulent waves of dust and gas is the Horsehead Nebula, otherwise known as Barnard 33. Photo: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team

M51 (NGC 5194)

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The graceful, winding arms of the majestic spiral galaxy M51 (NGC 5194) appear like a grand spiral staircase sweeping through space. They are actually long lanes of stars and gas laced with dust. This sharpest-ever image illustrates a spiral galaxy’s grand design, from its curving spiral armse, to its yellowish central core, a home of older stars. Photo: NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI), and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
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The image celebrates the 20th anniversary of Hubble’s launch and deployment into an orbit around the Earth. The image, which is even more dramatic than fiction, captures the chaotic activity atop a pillar of gas and dust, three light-years tall, which is being eaten away by the brilliant light from nearby bright stars. Photo: NASA, ESA, M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)

Messier 82 (M82

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This mosaic image of the magnificent starburst galaxy, Messier 82 (M82) is the sharpest wide-angle view ever obtained of M82. Moreover, it is a galaxy remarkable for its webs of shredded clouds and flame-like plumes of glowing hydrogen blasting out from its central regions where young stars are being born 10 times faster than they are inside in our Milky Way Galaxy. Photo: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA). Acknowledgment: J. Gallagher (University of Wisconsin), M. Mountain (STScI) and P. Puxley (NSF).

Monkey Head Nebula

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To celebrate its 24th year in orbit, the Hubble Space Telescope has released this beautiful new image of part of NGC 2174, also known as the Monkey Head Nebula. NGC 2174 lies about 6400 light-years away in the constellation of Orion (The Hunter). In addition, Hubble previously viewed this part of the sky back in 2011 — the colourful region is filled with young stars embedded within bright wisps of cosmic gas and dust. Photo: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Bubble Nebula

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This is a still from Hubblecast 92 in which the Bubble Nebula is presented. The spectacular object was observed to celebrate the 26th anniversary of Hubble. Photo: NASA & ESA

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