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Happy Birthday, Hubble!

After all our satellite birthday celebrations, we’d be remiss if we didn’t wish the Hubble Space Telescope a happy 25th! We’re a little belated, but that’s ok – it just means that our birthday wish won’t be lost amongst the millions of others on Hubble’s metaphorical Facebook wall!

And of course there was cake! And chocolate! As it turns out this gorgeous edible Hubble is all chocolate! (The base was, however, cake.)

Hubble Space Telescope Cake

Credit: Alberto Conti

Hubble Space Telescope Cake

Credit: Molly Peeples

And in case you’d like a slice of science with your cake, this beautiful image was released for Hubble’s 25th anniversary celebration:

Hubble 25th Image

Credit: Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), A. Nota (ESA/STScI), and the Westerlund 2 Science Team

I suspect this image was chosen because it looks like celestial fireworks and what could be more celebratory than that? This is actually a giant star cluster called Westerlund 2. It’s inside the Gum 29 stellar nursery, which is about 20,000 light years away in the direction of the constellation Carina. The star cluster is actually relatively young at 2 million years gold, and contains very hot, bright, massive stars. They are blasting out stellar wind and ultraviolet light with such force that it’s carving the gaseous clouds that surround them. The effect is quite beautiful!

We wish Hubble many more happy years of amazing science – and can’t wait to see what Hubble and JWST data will look like combined together – the images are just going to keep getting better and better!

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