Five of the most exciting telescope pictures of the universe: The launch of James Webb Space Telescope will open up unprecedented new opportunities to us. It is a good time to reflect upon what previous generations of telescopes have given us.
Astronomers uses telescope for a process of scientific inference and imagination. Here are some of the images taken by publicly-funded telescopes and have some interesting science.
Five of the most exciting telescope pictures of the universe
1. Jupiter’s poles
This image was captured by Nasa’s Juno mission in October 2017. The spacecraft was 18,906 kilometers away from Jupiter. The spacecraft captured a cloud system of Jupiter and the picture represents Jupiter’s poles.
The image has complex flow patterns. The effects have been caused by the variety of clouds. Juno has shown us a different view of Jupiter.
2. The Eagle Nebula
Astronomers have built telescope to see what our bare eyes cannot see. The rainbow we see is a small fraction of what physicists call the electromagnetic spectrum. Red has less energy than optical light. An infrared camera can see through dust which can obscure our view.
The European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory is the largest infrared observatory till now. This picture is known as Herschel view of star formation in the Eagle Nebula or M16.
The Eagle Nebula is 6,500 light years away from Earth and this is a place for vigorous star formation. This picture is called “Pillars of Creation”. This looks like a thumb and forefinger pointing upwards. The pillars produce a cavity in a giant cloud of molecular gas and dust.
3. The Galactic Centre
This is the image of the centre of our Milky Way Galaxy. This picture is capture by two Nasa telescopes, Hubble and Spitzer. The bright white region is the centre of our galaxy. The massive black hole inside it is called Sagittarius A*. A Quintuplet cluster is there in the image too in the lower left corner. A cluster named Arches is there in the upper left. These clusters have some of the massive stars.
4. Abell 370
This picture is of a universe which is structured as a web of filaments of dark matter. This image reveals this warping of space. The image has been clicked by Hubble telescope in 2017.
This image is a cluster of hundreds of galaxies which is five billion light years away from Earth. We cans see elongated arcs of light in the picture. These are magnified images of distant galaxies.
The most important phenomenon of this picture is the thickest bright arc. This is called “the Dragon”. This image is useful to astronomers as it reveals more detail of the distant lensed object.
5. The Hubble Ultra Deep Field
This picture has 10,000 objects. Most of these objects are distant galaxies. The light of these galaxies travelled for over 13 billion years. Some of these objects are too distant and old. In this picture, we are seeing light from ancient stars.
The oldest galaxies were formed when tenuous gas in the universe bathed in starlight.