NASA Releases Images of 30 ‘Celestial Gems’ taken through Hubble on it’s 30th anniversary

NASA on 11th December released 30 newly processed Hubble images on the occasion of the space telescope turning 30 this year. These images feature dazzling galaxies, sparkling star clusters, and ethereal nebulae. All of these celestial objects belong to a collection known as the Caldwell catalog, NASA says.

NASA has said that the newly released collection of more than 50 Hubble images feature 30 objects in the Caldwell catalog. The catalog was compiled by British amateur astronomer and science communicator Sir Patrick Caldwell-Moore which was first published by Sky & Telescope magazine 25 years ago, in December 1995.

Inspired by the Messier catalog, the Caldwell catalog highlights 109 galaxies, star clusters, and nebulae that are not included in Messier’s catalog but are also bright enough to be seen by amateur astronomers. In addition, the Caldwell objects are split between the northern and southern hemisphere skies, providing interesting targets to pursue for amateur astronomers around the world.

Hubble’s existing gallery of Caldwell objects was first published in December 2019. These images have been taken by Hubble throughout its 30 year in space. They have been used for scientific research and for engineering tests.

Hubble’s collection now includes 87 of the 109 Caldwell objects. For each listing in Hubble’s Caldwell catalog, a basic star chart shows observers when and where they can find that object in the night sky, and a description suggests what type of observing equipment can be used to view it. The individual articles also explain Hubble’s images for those who prefer to just enjoy the telescope’s exquisite views.

Hubble Space Telescope

The Hubble Space Telescope was launched aboard Space Shuttle Discovery in April 1990. After being upgraded five times by crews of spacewalking astronauts, Hubble is today, at 30 years old, even better than when it was launched and continues to make groundbreaking discoveries that challenge and advance our fundamental understanding of the cosmos.


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