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Hubble's Historic Shots

NGC 2074

The Hubble Telescope is getting its fifth and final fix-up. Astronauts on the space shuttle Atlantis will repair and replace broken instruments, add a new long-gazing camera, and then say goodbye forever to Hubble. If it all works, Hubble will get another five to seven years of life, before it is remote-control steered into a watery grave. This photo, released by NASA and the European Space Agency to commemorate the Hubble Space Telescope completing its 100,000th orbit around the Earth in its 18th year of exploration and discovery, scientists have aimed Hubble to take a snapshot of a dazzling region of celestial birth and renewal. Hubble peered into a small portion of the nebula near the star cluster NGC 2074, top, on Sunday,Aug.10, 2008. The region is a firestorm of raw stellar creation, perhaps triggered by a nearby supernova explosion. It lies about 170 000 light-years away near the Tarantula nebula, one of the most active star-forming regions in our local group of galaxies. In this representative color image, red shows emission from sulphur atoms, green from glowing hydrogen, and blue from glowing oxygen.


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