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NASA, ESA Celebrate Hubble's 27th Anniversary By Releasing Images Of Two Stunning Galaxies

First Posted: Apr 21, 2017 05:30 AM EDT
Zoom-In On NGC 4298 & NGC 4302
Hubble Space Telescope captured images of two spectacular spiral galaxies known as NGC 4302 and NGC 4298.
(Photo : HubbleESA/YouTube screenshot)

NASA/ESA's Hubble Space Telescope will celebrate its 27th anniversary on April 24, 2017. In the time of its celebration, NASA and ESA release two spectacular different spiral galaxies known as NGC 4302 and NGC 4298 taken by this pioneer telescope.

Both space agencies release spectacular images during Hubble's birthday every year. With this anniversary of Hubble Space Telescope, it featured NGC 4302 and NGC 4298. These two spiral galaxies are located 55 million light-years away in the northern constellation of Coma Berenices or Berenice's Hair. They are found by astronomer William Herschel in 1784.

NGC 4302 is described as smaller than the Milky Way Galaxy. Meanwhile, the tilted NGC 4298 is smaller and about half the size of NGC 4302. In the images, they showed the warm stellar glow and brown patterns of dust of both spiral galaxies, according to Phys.org.

The galaxies are so close with just only around a span of 7,000 light-years. The astronomers are examining the galaxies' seemingly lack of gravitational interaction. They also do not have the long tidal tails and deformations in their structure that are the characteristics of galaxies. On the other hand, they found very faint tails of gas from both galaxies that are pointed in the same direction.

The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) was launched into low-Earth orbit on April 24, 1990. It is considered one of the largest and most versatile space telescopes. It is still in operation and continues to take images of the stunning cosmos. Its name is derived from astronomer Edwin Hubble.

Hubble Space Telescope has a 2.4-meter (7.9 feet) mirror and four main instruments that monitor the near ultraviolet, visible and near-infrared spectra. It captures high-resolution images and has recorded some of the most detailed visible-light images ever. Most of the observations of Hubble Space Telescope have provided insights and breakthroughs in astrophysics. These include identifying the rate of the expansion of the Universe.

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