In April of 1990, our Universe opened up to us in a whole new way.
When the Hubble Space Telescope was launched and deployed, the most powerful space telescope ever built.
Although the device was off to a rough start, Hubble remained in operation for three decades until April this year. And, in celebration of this amazing milestone, NASA has only given us space money: 50 newly processed illustrations of objects from the Caldwell catalog released to the public for the first time.
Cosmic objects can be classified in many different ways. What makes the Caldwell catalog special is that it contains only those objects that can be seen by backyard astronomers. Grab a telescope (or, in some cases, two eyes of your own), and you can find these objects for yourself in the night sky.
The Caldwell catalog, compiled by amateur astronomer and author Sir Patrick Alfred Caldwell-Moore, was first published in 1995. Sky and telescopeIntended as a supplement to the Messier catalog of 110 objects compiled by the 18th century French astronomer Charles Messier.
Messier, famously, took his list out of frustration. He was interested in finding a comet; The list was a list of annoying things Were not Comets and therefore it can be safely ignored by comet hunters.
Ironically, it became a very useful list of bright targets for amateur astronomers to see, including nebulae, star clusters, and surrounding galaxies.
The Caldwell catalog, which contains 109 objects, includes 28 nebulae, 46 clusters, and 35 galaxies that were not included in the Messier catalog, but are still of intense interest to those who enjoy looking up at the night sky.
There is a feeling of joy in finding these things yourself, and seeing with your own eyes, light-years away. Hubble is also delighted to compare his own comments to what he saw with his much more powerful “eye”. And, well, they are just glorious.
The 50 new NASA images feature thirty Caldwell objects, with some objects appearing in more than one image.
“Because of Hubble’s wide field, some of its photographs do not capture the entirety of the Caldwell object, sometimes instead of zooming in on clusters of young stars in the arms of a spiral galaxy, stars on the exterior of a cluster, or a Zombie star in the heart of the nebula, “wrote Vanessa Thomas of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center on NASA’s website.
“But in other cases, a mosaic of Hubble commentaries gathers together to form a complete or nearly complete picture of the celestial miracle.”
Overall, Hubble’s Caldwell catalog – first published in December of 2019 – now includes 87 of 109 Caldwell items. The Space Telescope has not ignored the Messier catalog; Hubble has followed 96 out of 110 Messier objects. Each object in both catalogs includes a guide to how to see it in the sky.
Together, the two collections feature the most breathtakingly beautiful images of the space around us – the awe-inspiring tour of the wonders of the universe.
And a complete testament to the priceless treasure has emerged.
You can refuse more stunning pictures in the full Caldwell collection and the Messier collection on NASA’s website.