Hubble Hump Day


It’s Hubble Hump Day!

We thought we’d take the opportunity to brighten up your Wednesday with some of the most spectacular images taken by the Hubble telescope:

Credit: NASA, ESA & J.Lotz

The Final Frontier

In honour of Star Trek’s 50th anniversary this year, NASA have released this image of the Final Frontier project. In the centre of the image is the galaxy cluster Abell S1063, situated 4 billion lightyears from earth. Surrounding the galaxy cluster you can see evidence of gravitational lensing, where the immense mass of the cluster has bent the light of galaxies behind it, allowing us glimpses of places which would otherwise be too faint to see. This effect also allows us to see the ‘first generation of galaxies’ from the early universe.

Credit: NASA & ESA

The Crab Nebula

This image, released in July, shows the core of the ‘crab nebula’, home to the remnants of a supernova known as a neutron star; this celestial object is the size of a city but has a mass similar to our sun. This particular neutron star is actually a pulsar, spinning 30 times a second and sending out waves of energy which we can detect here on earth. The rings which seem to be emanating from the star are thought to be solar winds which have been transformed into extremely energetic particles by a shock wave. The nebula is found within the constellation of Taurus.

Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Dalcanton, B. F. Williams, L. C. Johnson, the PHAT team & R. Gendler

The Andromeda Galaxy (M31)

The Andromeda galaxy is our closest spiral galaxy, and in certain places on Earth can even be seen with the naked eye. This image is the largest Hubble image ever assembled, consisting of 7,398 exposures taken over 411 individual pointings between July 2010 and October 2013. The power of the telescope means that over 100 million individual stars can be seen in this image.

Credit: NASA, ESA & the Hubble SM4 ERO Team

Omega Centauri

This colourful star cluster hosts nearly 10 million stars, 100,000 of which can be seen in this image. The colours of these stars denote their place within their life-cycle. The white/yellow stars are similar to our sun, and are ‘adult’ stars which glow as a result of hydrogen fusion. As stars age they become cooler and larger, and as a result become orange. This process continues until they become red-giants. Eventually they begin to eject their mass and use up their hydrogen fuel – at this point they are reaching the end of their life-cycles and appear blue.

NASA, ESA & J. Nichols

Auroras on Jupiter

In July, Hubble captured this topical photograph of auroras on the north pole of our giant gas neighbour, Jupiter. The image is actually a composite image; the auroras were photographed during a series of far-ultraviolet-light observations as the Juno spacecraft approached the planet and the planet itself was photographed by Hubble’s Outer Planet Atmospheres Legacy (OPAL) program. The auroras are created by charged particles in space are captured by the planet’s magnetic field and interact with the atmosphere to create a spectacular light show. It is exactly the same process as creates the Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis here on Earth.





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