The last time astronauts visited the school bus-sized Hubble telescope in space, they installed a new, reliable camera.
Twelve years later, this “workhouse” camera (Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3), is still capturing bright, vivid galaxies in the cosmos. On Friday, NASA shared a resplendent image of the spiral galaxy NGC 1385.
You can see the galaxy’s arms along the sides and bottom of the galaxy, with the brilliant core showing areas dense with stars. It’s 68 million light-years away.
The glorious NGC 1385.
Credit: ESA / Hubble & NASA / J. Lee and the PHANGS-HST Team
The legendary Hubble Telescope is aging, though it’s still clearly producing rich cosmic images. Yet the intensely anticipated next generation of space telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope, is currently set to launch on Halloween 2021.
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Webb is equipped with a giant mirror, at over 21 feet across, whereas Hubble’s is eight feet across. The larger the mirror, the better the resolution of deep-space objects. Stay tuned for the looming fall launch.