Wednesday, April 25, 2007

My God, it's Full of Stars

Today, the Hubble Telescope celebrates 17 years in space. Kinda cool. In honor of the anniversary, astronomers have released a newly captured image of the Carina Nebula - one of the largest panoramic images ever taken with Hubble's cameras - more than 423 megapixels' worth, assembled from 48 frames taken with the Advanced Camera for Surveys. The image provides a view spanning a distance of 50 light years across the nebula and includes at least a dozen brilliant stars estimated to be 50 to 100 times the mass of our Sun.

As you can see, the image is amazing and when you click it, if you have a slow connection, be patient while it loads. You can go here to read more about the Hubble Telescope or, if you'd like to know more about the image or see it even bigger, go here.

The telescope was named after the astronomer Edwin Hubble whose observations were the first to conclusively prove the existence of other galaxies. Hubble's research also added credibility to the Big Bang theory as well proving that the universe was expanding. Besides having the Hubble Telescope named for him, there is a crater on the Moon named for him, as well. Edwin Hubble died on September 28, 1953 and, interestingly, there was no funeral and his wife never revealed what was done with his body. Evidently, Hubble didn't want any type of service and was either buried in an unmarked grave or, obviously, cremated. To this day no one knows the whereabouts of his remains.

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