Although it’s only a matter of months until the next-generation James Webb Space Telescope will replace the good old Hubble, the latter still has many exciting things to show. With the next telescope, astronomers hope to take a closer look at galaxies and stars for understanding our place in the Universe a lot better.
Hubble was named after the great American astronomer who had crucial contributions for astronomy a century ago. During the 1920s, he found out that there are many other galaxies except for the Milky Way, and that the Universe itself is constantly expanding. The latter discovery completed the Big Bang model of the Cosmos. Therefore, there’s no wonder why the Hubble telescope had so much to show to the world and still has.
Behold the new picture taken at the Orion Nebula:
Image source: NASA/JPL-Caltech STScI
The Hubble Space Telescope had to join forces with the Spitzer Space Telescope to capture relevant images of the Orion Nebula, a collection of swirling gasses that surround very young and large stars. The telescopes collected the same image in different wavelengths of light.
Located at 1,500 light-years away from Earth
NASA issued the following statement:
Gaseous swirls of hydrogen, sulfur, and hydrocarbons cradle a collection of infant stars in this composite image of the Orion Nebula, as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Space telescope. Together, the two telescopes expose carbon-rich molecules in the cosmic cloud of this star-formation factory located 1,500 light-years away,
While you may be wondering what’s causing those beautiful colours, the same source adds:
Hubble’s ultraviolet and visible-light view reveal hydrogen and sulfur gas that have been heated and ionized by intense ultraviolet radiation from the massive stars, collectively known as the “Trapezium.” Meanwhile, Spitzer’s infrared view exposes carbon-rich molecules in the cloud. Together, the telescopes expose the stars in Orion as a rainbow of dots sprinkled throughout the image.
You know what they say that time solves it all. We should be patient because, in the near future, astronomers will be able to dive a lot deeper into nebulae like the one from above.