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The Hubble Space Telescope turned 30 this year, and for the occasion, it’s sharing a present with you. NASA has just released dozens of newly processed Hubble images featuring 30 dazzling galaxies, sparkling star clusters, and ethereal nebulae.
And there’s something extra special about these 30 celestial gems: All of them can be seen through backyard telescopes. Some of them can also be spotted with binoculars or even the naked eye.
This stunning image captures a small region on the edge of the inky Coalsack Nebula, or Caldwell 99. Caldwell 99 is a dark nebula — a dense cloud of interstellar dust that completely blocks out visible wavelengths of light from objects behind it.
Caldwell 29, also known as NGC 5005, is a spiral galaxy that likely harbors a supermassive black hole at its heart. The galaxy has a feature called a low-ionization nuclear emission-line region (LINER) nucleus, which means the gas at the center of the galaxy is emitting light at certain wavelengths that indicates a source of energy is removing electrons from the atoms in the gas (“ionizing” it).
Caldwell 45, or NGC 5248, is a spiral galaxy located in the constellation Boötes, and it is notable for the ring structure around its nucleus. These nuclear rings are characterized by “hot spots” of starburst activity.
Caldwell 71, or NGC 2477, is an open star cluster. Open clusters are loosely bound collections of stars. However, Caldwell 71 is relatively compact and strikingly spherical, so it is easily mistaken for a globular cluster. It is located roughly 4,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Puppis.
Caldwell 81, or NGC 6352, is a loose globular star cluster located roughly 20,000 light-years from Earth. This cluster is located in the constellation Ara and was discovered in 1826 by Scottish astronomer James Dunlop while he lived in Australia. With an apparent magnitude of 7.8, Caldwell 81 can be found with a small telescope.
originally posted by: Flyingclaydisk
a reply to: buddha
This is one of the reasons we should all be disappointed at the Space Shuttle's retirement. The US took a giant leap backwards in space in 2011 when the last Shuttle was retired. US manned spaceflight basically stopped from that point forward until May of this year with the Space-X missions. Currently, not Space-X, nor NASA, nor the Soyuz programs have any way to conduct missions like the Shuttle conducted during its life (not yet anyway).