With engineers working to restore the Hubble Space Telescope to normal operation after a computer glitch, here’s a reminder of what the observatory has been bringing back to Earth over the past three decades: riveting, razor-sharp views of deep space targets. This image of NGC 330, an open star cluster in the Small Magellanic Cloud, was captured by Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3. It incorporates data from two studies, one focused on stellar evolution and the other on how large stars can become before exploding as supernovae. Discovered in 1826 by Scottish astronomer James Dunlop, NGC 330 is about 180,000 light years from Earth in the southern constellation Tucana.
Among the Hubble Space Telescope’s most iconic images are jaw-dropping “deep field” views of the universe, images showing thousands of galaxies strewn across time and space that illustrate the rapid evolution of the cosmos in the wake of the Big Bang birth of time and space. This “eXtreme Deep Field” view is no exception.