Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Hubble telescope. It’s mission, to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.
This is the Orion Nebula, or Messier 42 to its friends, if you look closely you can see thousands of stars being created. Astronomers have directly observed brown dwarfs being formed in this giant star incubator.
NGC 2074, which really just means that it’s number 2074 in the New General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars. This exists in the Large Magellanic cloud, a small fragment of the Milky Way galaxy. This is a detail of the image, it is only 100 light-years wide, where the entire object is much larger.
Many of you are probably aware of this image already. This is the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, the folks behind the telescope decided to focus their attention on a small area of space with a low density of bright stars, they then focused the telescope on that patch for several months. What they saw in the image was an estimated 10,000 galaxies, that’s a whole lot of unknown in there.
The Eta Carinae is a star system whin the constellation Carina, it exists about 8,000 light-years from our Sol. It contains multiple stars, but they are all obscured by a luminous blue variable star which you should see in the image. This luminous blue variable star is 150 times the size of our sun, so it would really suck to be hovering around that huge mass of incandescent gas.
Inside of Taurus, the constellation, you can find the Crab Nebula. Interesting fact, this celestial body was also the site of a supernova recorded by astronomers in 1054, which isn’t that hard considering that it’s only about 6,500 light-years from Earth. The Crab Nebula hides, at its core, the Crab Pulsar, a 30 km wide neutron star that is spinning at 30 times a second.
Not all galaxies are the same, for example the Hoag’s Object is a ring galaxy. The galaxy is where a ring of blue stars circle an older yellow nucleus, which you can obviously see in the image above. Though this is a rare occurrence, to have a ring shaped galaxy, you can see another one through Hoag’s Object, so you get a double treat.
This is NGC 2841, which is a spiral galaxy in Ursa Major, or the Big Dipper to those of us that know it well. Structurally it is very similar to the Andromeda Galaxy, although it is different in the sense that its arms are patchy and irregular.
V838 Monocerotis lies within the constellation Monoceros. This star was first seen in 2002, which made it 838th star in Monoceros that we know of. The light that it is emitting comes and goes, which makes it a variable star as it has brightened and dimmed several times since its discovery.