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August 29, 2016 - Hubble Reveals a Dramatic Stellar Nursery

Hubble Reveals a Dramatic Stellar Nursery  Using the dust-piercing powers of its near-infrared Advanced Camera for Surveys and Wide Field Camera 3, the Hubble Space Telescope collected data for this image of Westerlund 2, a cluster of over 3,000 young stars located 20,000 light-years away within our Milky Way galaxy, in the constellation Carina. Powerful stellar winds from the massive two-million-year-old stars (very young in astronomical terms) have carved a canyon from the cloud surrounding the cluster, causing various elements within it to glow brightly from their ionizing ultraviolet radiation. As the gas and dust within the Westerlund 2 region is blasted away from the cluster, shadowy light-year-long pillars are formed, each of which will itself become a nursery for more new stars.

Image credit: NASA / ESA / Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) / A. Nota (ESA/STScI) / Westerlund 2 Science Team

Weekly Calendar

August 29 - September 4, 2016

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

 

Moon phase Monday 29

Mercury appears stationary

Moon phase Tuesday 30

1963: Lunar Orbiter program approved by NASA
1983: STS-8 Challenger launched
1984: STS-41D Discovery launched

Moon phase Wednesday 31

Moon phase Thursday 1

New Moon 5:03 AM ET
Annular solar eclipse (Africa, Antarctica)

1964: First Titan IIIA launched
1979: Pioneer 11 becomes first spacecraft to fly past Saturn

Moon phase Friday 2

Neptune at opposition
Ceres appears stationary
Jupiter 0.4° south of Moon

2015Soyuz TMA-18M launched carrying ISS Expedition 45/46 crew

Moon phase Saturday 3

Venus 1.1° south of Moon

1970: NASA cancels last two planned lunar landings
1976: Viking 2 lands on Mars
2006: SMART-1 spacecraft intentionally crashed into Moon

Moon phase Sunday 4

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