Monday, October 13, 2008

a decade of the hubble heritage project

last week marked the tenth anniversary of the hubble heritage project, which consistently presents to the public the most spectacular images produced by the hubble space telescope (HST, read current hubble health status: here). to celebrate, the heritage project people released a beautiful image of the intergalactic landscape referred to as NGC 3324:

(explore a zoomable larger image: here.)

to create the color image, they combined a blue-filtered oxygen emission image, a green glow from the hygrogen filter, and a bright red-filtered image of sulfur gas. oxygen gas illuminated by star light glows in the background, while bright red glowing sulfer clouds and dark patches of thick dust clouds protect the factories of stellar birth that lie within them. this nebulous nursery lives inside a larger inferno called the carina nebula, about 7,000 light-years away from us.

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