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NASA/ESA Hubble celebrates its 30th anniversary with a tapestry of blazing starbirth

By GeoConnexion - 1st July 2020 - 10:54

On 24 April 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope was launched on the Space Shuttle Discovery, along with a five-astronaut crew. Deployed into low Earth orbit a day later, the telescope has since opened our eyes to the cosmos and transformed our collective knowledge of the Universe. Hubble has revolutionised modern astronomy not only for astronomers, but also for the public, taking them on a journey of exploration and discovery. This year, Hubble is celebrating this new milestone with a portrait of two colourful nebulae that reveals how energetic, massive stars sculpt their homes of gas and dust. Although NGC 2014 and NGC 2020 appear to be separate in this visible-light image, they are actually part of one giant star formation complex. The star-forming regions seen here are dominated by the glow of stars at least 10 times more massive than our Sun. These stars have short lives of only a few million years, compared to the 10-billion-year lifetime of our Sun.

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