In honor of the Hubble Space Telescope’s 25th anniversary on Friday, NASA representatives on Thursday unveiled an official celebratory image.
The image captures a section of Gum 29, a region of vigorous star birth around 20,000 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Carina. The glittering cluster you see is called Westerlund 2, and it’s made up of around 3,000 stars and spans between six and 13 light-years across.
The images reveals a truth that the Hubble has helped us see for years: Our universe is alive with activity. Unlike the human eye, the Hubble can bring out a full spectrum of light emitted by new stars, giving us a stunning picture of the stellar birthing grounds and the gas and dust surrounding them. NASA has also released a 3-D fly-through of the image, thanks to the Hubble’s incredible resolution coupled with NASA scientists’ knowledge.