The Goddard Space Flight Center posted on its twitter page a picture of Carina‘s blue “bubble“. The picture was taken by the Hubble as the telescope was pointed at the constellation. After 25 years of service, the Hubble still takes amazing pictures in great quality. The blue “bubble” is a beautiful proof of its performance.
The NASA no longer has a space shuttle program, but the European Space Agency is their partner in the telescope and they gave more information on the picture.
“The distinctive blue bubble appearing to encircle WR 31a is a Wolf–Rayet nebula — an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen, helium and other gases,” the ESA explained. “Created when speedy stellar winds interact with the outer layers of hydrogen ejected by Wolf–Rayet stars, these nebulae are frequently ring-shaped or spherical.”
Twitter users were amazed by the picture and many of them praised its beauty.
The picture of the blue “bubble” in Carina is not the only important image that the Hubble has captured lately. On February 18, Daniel Apai, leader of the Hubble investigation, talked about a new method to measure the rotation of exoplanets and exploring the atmospheres with the help of images taken by the telescope.
“The result is very exciting,” he said “It gives us a unique technique to explore the atmospheres of exoplanets and to measure their rotation rates.”
On February 12, the telescope also captured the icy blue wings of Hen 2-437, also known as Vulpecula (The Fox). Another beautiful picture that shows the resolution, brightness and precision that the Hubble still has.
Even though the telescope has gone through a lot of services, it’s still a valuable tool for space exploration. However, the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope programmed for 2017 could mean the end of an era. The Webb will have a sensitivity of about 100 times that of the Hubble.