NASA astronomy picture of the day: Space agency unveils ‘stellar jewel box’ –

A new view of the spiral NGC 290 galaxy has today been revealed today by US-based space agency NASA. The NASA / European Space Agency Hubble Space Telescope has revealed stunning sparkling scatterings of sparkling stars. NGC 2903 is located about 30 million light-years away in the Leo constellation.

NASA is currently studying the area as part of a Hubble survey of the central regions of approximately 145 disc galaxies.

NASA wrote in a statement: “Jewels don’t shine this bright – only stars do.”

“Like gems in a jewel box, though, the stars of open cluster NGC 290 glitter in a beautiful display of brightness and colour.”

The photogenic cluster was actually captured in 2006 by the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope.

Jewels don’t shine this bright – only stars do


Open clusters of stars are younger, contain few stars, and contain a much higher fraction of blue stars than do globular clusters of stars.

NGC 290 lies about 200,000 light-years distant in a neighbouring galaxy dubbed the Small Cloud of Magellan (SMC).

The open cluster contains hundreds of stars and spans about 65 light years across.

NGC 290 and other open clusters are considered laboratories for studying how stars of different masses evolve, since all the open cluster’s stars were born at about the same time.


NASA astronomy picture of the day: The NGC 290 galaxy glitters in a beautiful display (Image: NASA )

NASA astronomy picture of the day: Scientists have imaged the spiral galaxy NGC 2903 (Image: NASA )

What is the NASA Hubble Space Telescope?

Until only 400 years ago, all mankind understand about the universe came via observations using the naked eye.

Galileo then turned his telescope towards the sky in 1610.

Mr Hubble learned how the planet Saturn had rings and gas giant Jupiter had moons.

Within mere years, mankind’s conception of the natural world was transformed forever, revolutionising science.


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In the proceeding centuries, telescopes grew in size, complexity and power.

Edwin Hubble, after which the Hubble Space Telescope is named, used the largest telescope of his day in the 1920s at California’s Mount Wilson Observatory to discover galaxies beyond our own.

The Hubble Space Telescope was the first major optical telescope to be placed in space.

Above the distortion of the atmosphere, far above clouds and light pollution, the Hubble Space Telescope has an unobstructed view of the universe.

NASA astronomy picture of the day: Telescope is named in honoUr of astronomer Edwin Hubble. (Image: NASA)

NASA astronomy picture of the day: The Hubble Space Telescope just produced an amazing close-up of a spiral galaxy (Image: NASA )

NASA has deployed Hubble to observe the most distant stars and galaxies and planets in the Solar System.

NASA wrote in a statement: “Hubble’s launch and deployment in April 1990 marked the most significant advance in astronomy since Galileo’s telescope.

“Thanks to five servicing missions and more than 25 years of operation, our view of the universe and our place within it has never been the same.”


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