Hubble Captures a Perfect Storm of Turbulent Gases
Resembling the fury of a raging sea, this image actually shows a bubbly ocean of glowing hydrogen gas and small amounts of other elements such as oxygen and sulfur. The photograph, taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, captures a small region within M17, a hotbed of star formation. M17, also known as the Omega or Swan Nebula, is located about 5,500 light-years away in the constellation Sagittarius. The image is being released to commemorate the thirteenth anniversary of Hubble's launch on April 24, 1990.
Background Information: Hubble Trivia 2003
In its 13 years of surveying the heavens, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has made about 553,000 exposures and probed nearly 19,000 celestial targets.
Hubble has whirled around Earth nearly 80,000 times, racking up 2 billion miles. That's like making 11 round trips to the Sun.
Each day the telescope generates enough data - more than 15 gigabytes - to fill 25 CD-ROMS.
The orbiting observatory's observations have amounted to more than 13 terabytes of data.
Hubble's digital archive delivers nearly 60 gigabytes of data a day to astronomers all over the world. That information would fill 100 CD-ROMS.
Astronomers have published 4,000 scientific papers on Hubble results.