Photo of the Day: Westerlund 2 Through Hubble’s Eyes

posted: 04/23/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
Celestial Fireworks
NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), A. Nota (ESA/STScI), and the Westerlund 2 Science Team

Westerlund 2, this cluster of 3,000 stars, is located 20,000 light-years away in the constellation Carina. It contains some of the galaxy's hottest, brightest and most massive stars.

This beautiful, glittering vista is the official photo of the Hubble Space Telescope's 25th anniversary. First launched on April 24, 1990 by NASA and the European Space Agency, Hubble has since made over 1.2 million observations. According to NASA, Hubble data has been used in almost 13,000 scientific papers, which makes it one of the most productive scientific instruments in history. The telescope will continue to whizz around Earth at 17,000 mph until at least 2018.

"Hubble has completely transformed our view of the universe, revealing the true beauty and richness of the cosmos" remarked NASA's John Grunsfeld. "This vista of starry fireworks and glowing gas is a fitting image for our celebration of 25 years of amazing Hubble science."

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