In April the Hubble telescope, which has been in orbit since 1990, will turn 24 and to celebrate this momentous occasion Nasa has released a new image from the telescope.
The image is part of NGC 2174, which is most commonly known as the Monkey Head Nebula. The colourful region is filled with young stars.
The latest release shows colourful plumes of gas and fiery bright stars in the nebula.
The Hubble Space Telescope, a 2.4m aperture telescope in low Earth orbit, was carried into orbit by a space shuttle. It has four main instruments which observe near ultraviolet, visible and near infrared spectra.
The new image of NGC 2174, which lies about 6400 light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Orion. The key ingredient in tNGC 2174 is hydrogen gas, which is ionised by radiation emitted by the young stars.
Image courtesy of Nasa, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA).
This image shows a wide field view of NGC 2174. The region of sky surrounding NGC 2174 is more commonly known as the Money Head Nebula. The small square near the centre of the image shows the location of the previous photo.
Image courtesy of NASA, ESA, Digitized Sky Survey (DSS), STScI/AURA, Palomar/Caltech
This image shows the visible and infrared comparison of the same detailed area in the star-forming nebula NGC 2174. Located on the left is a visible-light image and on the right is the infrared version. Infrared light penetrates more dust and gas than visible light allowing details to become visible.
Image courtesy of NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), and J. Hester
The image on the right shows the region of NGC 2174 taken in infrared. The left image comes from a ground based image taken by an amateur astrophotographer – the square shows the region where the Hubble’s photograph is located.
Image courtesy of NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), and R. Crisp
Featured image courtesy of European Space Agency