Galactic rose for Hubble’s 21st birthday

Nasa/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
Date:1 July 2011 Tags:,

To celebrate the 21st anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope’s deployment into space, astronomers at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, pointed its eye at an especially photogenic pair of interacting galaxies called Arp 273.

“For 21 years, Hubble has profoundly changed our view of the Universe, allowing us to see deep into the past while opening our eyes to the majesty and wonders around us,” says Nasa Administrator Charles Bolden. “I was privileged to pilot space shuttle Discovery as it deployed Hubble. After all this time, new Hubble images still inspire awe and are a testament to the extraordinary work of the many people behind the world’s most famous observatory.”

The newly released Hubble image shows a large spiral galaxy, known as UGC 1810, with a disc that is distorted into a rose-like shape by the gravitational tidal pull of the companion galaxy below it, known as UGC 1813. A swath of blue jewel-like points across the top is the combined light from clusters of intensely bright and hot young blue stars. These massive stars glow fiercely in ultraviolet light.

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