Space Saturday XXXI

Welcome to Space… Sunday? Ok, I meant to post this yesterday… Anyway, last week (April 24th) was the 17th Anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope and to celebrate HubbleSite has released a new image of The Carina Nebula: Star Birth in the Extreme. UPDATE: Check out this zoomable version of the image!

Different sizes: 500×242 - 1000×484 - 2000×969 - 3000×1453 - 4000×1937 - 6000×2906
29566×14321 - yes, that’s right! But beware, the file is 200 MB!
Credit: NASA, ESA, N. Smith (University of California, Berkeley), and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) (Source)

This image is

one of the largest panoramic images ever taken with Hubble’s cameras. It is a 50-light-year-wide view of the central region of the Carina Nebula where a maelstrom of star birth — and death — is taking place. This image is a mosaic of the Carina Nebula assembled from 48 frames taken with Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys.

The immense nebula contains at least a dozen brilliant stars that are roughly estimated to be at least 50 to 100 times the mass of our Sun. The most unique and opulent inhabitant is the star Eta Carinae, at far left. Eta Carinae is in the final stages of its brief and eruptive lifespan, as evidenced by two billowing lobes of gas and dust that presage its upcoming explosion as a titanic supernova.

This is such a cool photograph and the high resolution images (did you see the 200 MB version??) show some incredible detail. Be sure to check out some of the close up images at the news release archive (I have also posted a few of my own crops below). Just beautiful!

For more of my favorite astronomy pictures check out my Space Saturday Archive.

Different sizes: 500×240 - 1000×480 - 2000×959

Different sizes: 308×500 - 616×1000 - 1164×1891

Different sizes: 400×380 - 1000×949 - 1472×1397

Different sizes: 450×361 - 879×705


The Carina Nebula: Star Birth in the Extreme: News Release Archive: Entire Collection

Categories: Science
  1. May 3rd, 2007 at 16:50 | #1

    Hey, have you seen the pics of New Horizon’s Jupiter swingby?

  2. May 4th, 2007 at 00:09 | #2

    Yes! They have gotten some great shots! I especially liked the one of the little red spot (which looks like the big red spot in the image!):

    Jupiter's Little Red Spot

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