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Hubble completes 20 years in space

The Carina Nebula - one of the vigorous star producing regions of the Milky Way galaxy, has been captured by Hubble. A Hubble photo

WASHINGTON (BNS): Commemorating the 20th anniversary of its launch, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has unveiled a stunning new image of the Carina Nebula – one of the largest seen star birth regions of our galaxy.

Towers of cool hydrogen laced with dust rise from the wall of the nebula. The scene is reminiscent of Hubble's classic ‘Pillars of Creation’ photo taken in 1995, but the latest image is even more striking in appearance.

The image captures the top of a three-light-year-tall pillar of gas and dust that is being eaten away by the brilliant light from nearby bright stars. The pillar is also being pushed apart from within, as infant stars buried inside it fire off jets of gas that can be seen streaming from towering peaks like arrows sailing through the air, NASA said.

Hubble was launched along with the STS-31 crew on April 24, 1990 to explore various facets of the Universe. The telescope, deployed in the low Earth orbit, has sent valuable data since then for use by cosmologists and astronomers.

To commemorate the occasion, NASA along with the Space Telescope Science Institute, has unveiled the latest image besides organizing online educational activities and an opportunity for people to explore galaxies as armchair scientists.

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