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Hubblecast Episode 84: A starry snapshot for Hubble’s 25th

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After a quarter of a century in space, Hubble has captured a dramatic new cosmic landscape to take centre stage as the 25th anniversary image. A new addition to Hubble’s iconic collection of stunning images of the Universe. Episode 84: A starry snapshot for Hubble's 25th Each year, one of Hubble’s best images is used to celebrate the anniversary of the telescope’s launch date: 24th of April 1990. Many of these yearly snapshots have been truly spectacular. Take the telescope’s 8th anniversary offering, a technicolour image of Saturn. Or this Tolkien-esque view of the Carina Nebula to celebrate 20 years. The much more delicate galactic rose in the year that followed. And Hubble’s image of the star-speckled Tarantula Nebula, released in 2012. Hubble sometimes revisits particularly popular targets, like the Horsehead Nebula, for example. In 2001, Hubble released this murky view of the celestial cloud to celebrate eleven years of operation. Some 12 years later, a new infrared view of this nebula commemorated the 23-year milestone. This image shows a more fragile structure, with delicate wisps of pink-hued gas. This year, museums, science centres, planetariums and other science institutes across Europe have taken part in a simultaneous unveiling of the 25th anniversary image: The dazzling Westerlund 2! Westerlund 2 is a young open cluster — a rich collection of dazzling young stars loosely bound together. It is located around 26 000 light-years away from us, near a giant cloud of gas and dust known as RCW 49. But this is not just any star cluster; it contains some real stellar heavyweights. Some of its residents are among the brightest, hottest, and most massive stars ever discovered. The stars in the cluster are so energetic that their fierce stellar winds have stripped away a lot of the dust in the surrounding region, and ionised vast swathes of the gas in RCW 49. This activity is responsible for the weird and wonderful shapes and colours of the clouds of gas and dust in the new image. A stunning cosmic landscape fit to pay homage to 25 years of our favourite space telescope. We look forward to many more anniversary images yet to come! Hubblecast is produced by ESA/Hubble at the European Southern Observatory.

Video Details

Duration: 4 minutes and 49 seconds
Year: 2015
Country: Germany
Language: English
Producer: Lars Lindberg Christensen
Director: Georgia Bladon
Views: 961
Posted by: esahubble on Apr 15, 2015

This Hubblecast explores the new image of star cluster Westerlund 2, taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space telescope and released to celebrate its 25th year in orbit.

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