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News Release Archive:

News Release 414 of 953

April 25, 2005 12:01 AM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2005-12

Hubble Celebrates 15th Anniversary with Spectacular New Images

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Image: Hubble's 15th Anniversary Images of the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) and Eagle Nebula

Hubble's 15th Anniversary Images of the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) and Eagle Nebula

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During the 15 years NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has orbited the Earth, it has taken more than 700,000 photos of the cosmos; images that have awed, astounded and even confounded astronomers and the public.

NASA released new views today of two of the most well-known objects Hubble has ever observed: the Whirlpool Galaxy (spiral galaxy M51) [left] and the Eagle Nebula [right]. These new images are among the largest and sharpest Hubble has ever taken. They were made with Hubble's newest camera, the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS). The images are so incredibly sharp, they could be enlarged to billboard size and still retain stunning details.

For the 15th anniversary, scientists used the ACS to record a new region of the eerie-looking Eagle Nebula. The Eagle Nebula image reveals a tall, dense tower of gas being sculpted by ultraviolet light from a group of massive, hot stars. The new Whirlpool Galaxy image showcases the spiral galaxy's classic features, from its curving arms, where newborn stars reside, to its yellowish central core that serves as home for older stars. A feature of considerable interest is the companion galaxy located at the end of one of the spiral arms.

Image Type: Astronomical

Credit: [Whirlpool Galaxy] - NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI), and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) [Eagle Nebula] - NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

NEWS RELEASE IMAGES

The above montage includes these images:

Out of This Whirl: the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) and Companion Galaxy Image Type: Astronomical Out of This Whirl: the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) and Companion GalaxyPRC2005-12a The Eagle Has Risen: Stellar Spire in the Eagle Nebula Image Type: Astronomical The Eagle Has Risen: Stellar Spire in the Eagle NebulaPRC2005-12b

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