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Hubble Celebrates 26th Birthday with Stunning Shot of the Bubble Nebula

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Sigh. There’s nothing like a photo straight from the great Hubble Space Telescope to put our megapixel squabbling and ultra-fast frame rate comparisons in perspective. For the telescope’s 26th birthday on April 24th, the Hubble engineers have released a spectacular photo of “an enormous bubble being blown into space by a super-hot, massive star.”

The so-called Bubble Nebula, also known as NGC 7635, was chosen to celebrate the occasion because of just how incredible it is. It reminds us of the amazing photographic and scientific opportunities Hubble has opened up in the past 26 years:

“As Hubble makes its 26th revolution around our home star, the sun, we celebrate the event with a spectacular image of a dynamic and exciting interaction of a young star with its environment,” writes John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. “The view of the Bubble Nebula, crafted from Wide Field Camera 3 images, reminds us that Hubble gives us a front-row seat to the awe-inspiring universe we live in.”

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Measuring in at 7 light years across, the Bubble Nebula resides in the constellation Cassiopeia some 7,100 light-years from Earth. And you thought your landscape shots were “vast”…

To read more about this picture and the nebula it’s captured, head over to the Hubble website by clicking here. And if you want to see the highest resolution versions of this image or download it as a wallpaper for your computer, click here.

Happy birthday Hubble… here’s to 26 more incredible years.


Image credits: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

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