30 Years of Hubble – Jim Is Space-Geeking Out Again!
I watched a show on the Science Channel last weekend which was in two parts, it was all about the orbiting telescope named Hubble which was placed into orbit 30 years ago. I thought, "has it really been up there 30 years?" It has, and it is still returning images that simply blow my mind.
The latest photographic gift to space-geekedome is the one pictured above. If you have the time and you have a computer that can handle it, go here and download the full-size image which is 435MB so you can get up close and personal with light that has reached the Hubble from 163,000 years ago. Yes, Hubble really is a time machine.
In this Hubble portrait, the giant red nebula (NGC 2014) and its smaller blue neighbor (NGC 2020) are part of a vast star-forming region in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, located 163,000 light-years away. The image is nicknamed the "Cosmic Reef," because the nebulas resemble an undersea world.
Seriously, how can you look into that image and think "we are it." There's nobody else in that vast universe outside of our tiny solar system? In my little brain, there's just no way God created all of that for just us... no way.
If you get a chance I invite you to check out the special on the Science Channel's website titled "Hubble: Thirty Years of Discovery". You can watch the whole thing right there on your computer.
Thirty years and still cranking out the hits, sounds like some radio jocks I know. Keep up the great work Hubble, we love what you've done with the space.