It has been in space for 3 decades
Yet it is not showing its age. NASA and its European counterpart (ESA) have released spectacular photos that Hubble continues to take as it continues its space sojourn. This time the photos are of the Laguna Nebula.
The size of the nebula is daunting as it is estimated to be 20 by 55 light years in size. Even though it is 4,000 light years away from the Milky Way it casts a very large shadow in the night sky.
Hubble has many achievements
Since 1990, when it first was launched by NASA and ESA, Hubble has orbited the earth over 163,000 times. During these travels, Hubble has been able to capture 1.5 million observations on over 43,000 space bodies and objects.
On top of that, it has sent back to earth over 153 Terabytes of information. In almost 30 years of service those are impressive achievements. Hubble throughout its life has helped scientists understand the universe a little bit better.
Unfortunately, given the size and nature of the universe, those achievements may be equal to a pimple on a teenagers face. If it is that large. One thing is for sure, the Hubble space telescope has produced images that would not have been possible to capture if the telescope did not exist.
Why is the Laguna Nebula so important
What makes these pictures so impressive to astronomers and other researchers is that they think that the Laguna Nebula is a star nursery. Members of the Hubble team actually point to Herschel 36 and claim that it is a young star.
The Laguna Nebula is so large that the Hubble telescope cannot capture the whole entity in one shot. Its best effort was to focus n the heart of the Nebula and show the stars that reside in that region.
But even with the help of the Hubble telescope full knowledge of the Laguna Nebula is still the year in the future.
What is next for Hubble
Because of its continued stellar performance, it looks like Hubble may still have a future with NASA and the ESA. The telescope is not showing any signs of slowing down due to age.
Those who like to view the universe will still be able to see the stunning photographs it sends back to earth, and new researchers will be able to study them and make new discoveries.