It’s not just a pretty picture, either. This picture, one of the first taken by the Hubble Space Telescope since its successful refurbishing, contains useful data on temperature and composition collected by the new Wide Field Camera 3 to help scientists understand this nebula of unusual temperature. It’s one of a spectacular set of new Hubble photos showing more detail than Hubble has ever been able to deliver before. Thanks to the NASA mission to service Hubble, scientists will be able to continue to refine their understanding of the universe, and everyday folks like you and me will continue to drop our jaws at the beauty of it all, until at least 2014.
You may recall that back in 2005, George W. Bush tried to kill off the Hubble Space Telescope, taking money away from the telescope’s refurbishment so that Bush could send a rocket to the moon in order to, well, go to the moon, again. Yesterday a report revealed that the moon landing plan is well behind schedule and running out of money. Hubble, on the other hand, continues to deliver delight and understanding.