NASA is showing you the picture the Hubble Space Telescope took on your birthday

Photo goes with story

Carina Nebula (2007)
The Hubble Space Telescope captured this 50-light-year-wide view of the central region of the Carina Nebula, where a maelstrom of star birth β€” and death β€” is taking place.

Hubble’s view shows star birth in a new level of detail. The fantasy-like landscape of the nebula is sculpted by the action of outflowing winds and scorching ultraviolet radiation from the monster stars that inhabit this inferno. In the process, these stars are shredding the surrounding material that is the last vestige of the giant cloud from which the stars were born.

The immense nebula contains at least a dozen brilliant stars that are roughly estimated to be at least 50 to 100 times the mass of our Sun. The most unique and opulent inhabitant is the star Eta Carinae, at far left. Eta Carinae is in the final stages of its brief and eruptive lifespan, as evidenced by two billowing lobes of gas and dust that presage its upcoming explosion as a titanic supernova.

This image was released in celebration of the 17th anniversary of the launch and deployment of Hubble. The Hubble images were taken in the light of neutral hydrogen. Color information was added with data taken at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. Red corresponds to sulfur, green to hydrogen, and blue to oxygen emission.

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Credit for Hubble Image: NASA, ESA, N. Smith (University of California, Berkeley), and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Credit for CTIO Image: N. Smith (University of California, Berkeley) and NOAO/AURA/NSF

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WASHINGTON (CNN) — NASA is celebrating the Hubble Space Telescope’s 30th year in orbit, and even though most of the celebrations have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, you can still explore some of its amazing contributions online.

The Hubble was the first major optical telescope to be placed in space and has been showing us incredible photos of the universe 24 hours a day, seven days a week since April 1990.

As part of the celebrations, NASA launched a place for you to see a picture of the cosmos on your birthday. All you have to do is select your birthday month and day and the generator will reveal a photo from its collection.

NASA had events scheduled in California and Washington, D.C., but has postponed them for a later date.

If you have a telescope NASA explains how you can see some of the same objects the Hubble has during this month, from your backyard.

“On a clear night, find a safe location with a dark sky away from bright lights, point your telescope upward, and gaze upon some of the same nebulas and galaxies Hubble has viewed,” NASA’s directions say. If you don’t have a telescope, binoculars and smaller telescopes may allow you to see a few of the same objects.

And if that doesn’t give you enough to look at, on its social media channels NASA is sharing one photo every day from each of Hubble’s years in orbit to countdown to the official anniversary on April 24.

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