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Hubble Telescope celebrates 28 years w / colorful photo of lagoon nebula

  Hubble Telescope Anniversary Lagoon Nebula

Visible Glimpse of the Lagoon Nebula

In honor of his 28th birthday, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has aired two different images of the incredible lagoon nebula. Even after 1

63,000 orbits around the planet and over a million photos, the Hubble impresses again and again. The pictures remind us how much insight the instrument has given us since its introduction on April 24, 1990.

The star of the pictures is Herschel 36, which lights up in the middle of the photos. Only one million years old – a star-sized baby – it's 200,000 times brighter and 32 times bigger than the sun. At 4,000 light-years away, the lagoon nebula appears as a spot in the sky as it looks through binoculars, but thanks to the Hubble we can see it in all its glory.

"The giant star, called Herschel 36, explodes from its birth cocoon of material, unleashing blasting radiation and raging stellar winds, which are streams of subatomic particles that push away dust in curtain-like leaves," NASA writes. "This action is similar to the sun bursting through the clouds at the end of an afternoon thunderstorm."

  Infrared view of the Lagoon Nebula

Infrared view of the Lagoon Nebula

NASA has published two views of the Lagoon Nebula part of the birthday party. A colorful image with visible light showing the swirling dust and gas chambers as well as an infrared image through which we can see through the gas into the bright stars. NASA points out that scientists use infrared images to 'penetrate huge clouds of gas and dust to expose hidden gems'.

The Hubble Space Telescope will produce images and advent calendars for the foreseeable future. Although his successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, will launch in 2020, it is estimated that the Hubble will continue its mission until it returns to our atmosphere sometime in the 2030s. For the time being, it will continue to earn frequent flyer miles, contributing to the already spent 4 billion.

Watch Hubble catching the lagoon nebula.

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All images about NASA, ESA and STScI.

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