The Hubble Space Telescope will soon be 33 years old since its commissioning. To mark this milestone, scientists have shared a stunning image of the picturesque NGC 1333 nebula. The photo shows a lively stellar nursery, where new clouds of dust and gas are actively forming. This nebula is located 960 light-years away from us.
Hubble annually celebrates birthdays with excellent anniversary images depicting some of the interesting corners of the Universe. The fresh image of the NGC 1333 nebula not only looks amazing, but it can also help scientists learn about the formation of stars, since the conditions in this region are considered similar to those in which our Solar System has formed. The nebula is located in the Perseus molecular cloud, which is a cold dense cloud consisting mainly of hydrogen and dust.
The stunning beauty of the nebula image shows swirls of dark dust around newborn stars. To capture this scene, Hubble used its instruments along the entire wavelength, from ultraviolet to optical and near infrared. The telescope took the picture using the Wide Field Camera 3 tool, which used several filters at different wavelengths to create a colorful final result.
“This view offers an example of the time when our Sun and planets formed inside such a dusty molecular cloud, 4.6 billion years ago. Our Sun didn’t form in isolation but was instead embedded inside a mosh pit of frantic stellar birth, perhaps even more energetic and massive than NGC 1333,” Hubble scientists explain.
Earlier we reported on how the oldest planetary nebula was found.
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