Hubble Sees a Star 'Inflating' a Giant Bubble
Twenty-six candles grace NASA's Hubble Space Telescope's birthday cake this year, and now one giant space "balloon" will add to the festivities. Just in time for the 26th anniversary of Hubble's launch on April 24, 1990, the telescope has photographed an enormous, balloon-like bubble being blown into space by a super-hot, massive star. Astronomers trained the iconic telescope on this colorful feature, called the Bubble Nebula, or NGC 7635. The bubble is 7 light-years across – about one-and-a-half times the distance from our sun to its nearest stellar neighbor, Alpha Centauri. The Bubble Nebula lies 7,100 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cassiopeia.
Background Information: Hubble Trivia 2016
Launched in 1990, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has made nearly 1.3 million observations of more than 40,000 celestial objects.
In its 26-year lifetime the telescope has made more than 142,000 trips around our planet. Hubble has racked up plenty of frequent-flier miles, about 3.5 billion.
An average of 860 gigabytes of Hubble data are added to the archive every month.
Hubble observations have produced more than 119 terabytes of data, which will be available for future generations of researchers.
Astronomers using Hubble data have published nearly 14,000 scientific papers.