This Hubble image captures Caldwell 78 (or NGC 6541.Credits: NASA, ESA, and G. Piotto (Università degli Studi di Padova); Processing: Gladys Kober (NASA/Catholic University of America)

30 for 30: New Hubble images marking its birthday released

The images released by Hubble since it started working 30 years ago have served as amazing windows to see the universe in new ways. On its 30th anniversary this year, NASA has released fascinating images showing 30 galaxies and breathtaking stars, nebulas, and more.

What’s more exciting about these shots is that they can also be visualized through a backyard telescope. The difference is that NASA has processed them in a way to make the objects more striking and apparent.

According to the official website, “All of these celestial objects belong to a collection known to amateur astronomers as the Caldwell catalog.” These were compiled by an amateur astronomer from British, Sir Patrick Caldwell-Moore, and the collection was published in 1995. It took inspiration from the Messier catalog that was put together by Charles Messier, who was a French comet-hunter. The catalog had around a hundred bright objects that could be mistaken for comets by the unaided, untrained eye. Caldwell’s catalog featured 109 galaxies, star clusters, and more that were not a part of the Messier catalog but were dazzling enough to be observed easily.

Marking Hubble’s birthday, NASA released more than 50 images, and the collection features 30 objects in the Caldwell catalog. The official announcement quotes, “Some of these 30 Caldwell objects appear in more than one new Hubble image.” The released photographs are not new and have been taken by Hubble over the years and were used in research but only now has NASA has fully processed them for public release.

To access new images in Hubble’s Caldwell catalog, click here.

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