In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope a group of videos highlighting a selection of the telescope’s images has been featured on its YouTube channel. The videos represent a glimpse into Hubble’s quarter century of service. Here’s a look at one of those videos, Flight to Star Cluster Westerlund 2, which was released to commemorate a quarter century of Hubble exploration and discoveries since its launch on April 24, 1990.
Flight to Star Cluster Westerlund 2: Published on Apr 23, 2015, this visualization provides a three-dimensional perspective of the nebula Gum 29 with the star cluster Westerlund 2 at its core. In the video we ‘fly’ past foreground stars to approach the lower left rim of Gum 29, along the way we pass through wispy dark clouds before arriving at bright gas illuminated by the intense radiation of the newly formed stars of Westerlund 2. Within the nebula, several pillars of dark, dense gas are being shaped by light and strong stellar winds from the cluster of thousands of stars. Video Credit: NASA, ESA, G. Bacon, L. Frattare, Z. Levay, and F. Summers (Viz3D Team, STScI), and J. Anderson (STScI)
All 31 of Hubble’s commemorative videos can be found HERE!
Celestial Fireworks: The sparkling centerpiece of Hubble’s anniversary fireworks is a giant cluster of about 3,000 stars called Westerlund 2, named for Swedish astronomer Bengt Westerlund who discovered the grouping in the 1960s. The cluster resides in a stellar breeding ground known as Gum 29, located 20,000 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Carina. Image Credit: NASA/ESA
The Hubble Space Telescope was built and launched by NASA, with contributions from the European Space Agency, and is operated by the Space Telescope Science Institute. Hubble is one of NASA’s Great Observatories, along with the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and the Spitzer Space Telescope.