This glittering tapestry of young stars flaring into life in the star cluster Westerlund 2 has been released to celebrate the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s 25th year in orbit and a quarter of a century of discoveries, stunning images and outstanding s
This glittering tapestry of young stars flaring into life in the star cluster Westerlund 2 has been released to celebrate the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s 25th year in orbit and a quarter of a century of discoveries, stunning images and outstanding s

Hubble at 25: anniversary of space telescope celebrated with stellar new images

The European Space Agency says that the fireworks depicted in the picture celebrate the telescope's silver anniversary

Andrew Griffin
Friday 24 April 2015 14:51
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Spectacular new pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope have been released, marking 25 years since it was launched into orbit by the Space Shuttle.

On April 24, 1990, the shuttle carried Hubble up into space, making it the first telescope of its kind. And today the European Space Agency released a new image marking 25 years since it was launched.

The picture shows what the agency refers to as "silver anniversary fireworks", which are spewing out of a star cluster known as Westerlund 2 and made up of about 3,000 stars.

Astronomers took the picture by combining Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys, which looks at visible light, and the Wide Field Camera 3 which can see near-infrared. The image would not normally have been able to see because it is surrounded by dust, but the technology on the telescope allows astronomers to look through it.

In 2018, the James Webb Space Telescope will be launched into orbit. But it won't immediately take over from Hubble, which will continue to be used alongside the new kit until it is retired.

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