Hubble Celebrates 20 Years of Being Crazy Awesome

The Hubble Space Telescope is 20 years old, but it never ceases to amaze me:

Thanks for showing us the universe, Hubble.

This brand new Hubble photo is of a small portion of one of the largest seen star-birth regions in the galaxy, the Carina Nebula. Towers of cool hydrogen laced with dust rise from the wall of the nebula. The scene is reminiscent of Hubble’s classic “Pillars of Creation” photo from 1995, but is even more striking in appearance. The image captures the top of a three-light-year-tall pillar of gas and dust that is being eaten away by the brilliant light from nearby bright stars. The pillar is also being pushed apart from within, as infant stars buried inside it fire off jets of gas that can be seen streaming from towering peaks like arrows sailing through the air.
NASA’s best-recognized, longest-lived and most prolific space observatory was launched April 24, 1990, aboard the space shuttle Discovery during the STS-31 mission. Hubble discoveries revolutionized nearly all areas of current astronomical research from planetary science to cosmology.

See NASA, ESA and STScI’s announcement, Starry-Eyed Hubble Celebrates 20 Years of Awe and Discovery, and don’t forget to check out HubbleSite, Hubble’s official website with tons upon tons of awe-inspiring photographs of the cosmos!