Hubble Telescope finds smiling face in space during search for newborn stars

Christopher Davidson
November 7, 2018

The Hubble Space Telescopehas bounced back from its recent shutdown - and found what looks uncannily like a smiling face in space.

Blue compact dwarf galaxies take their name from the intensely blue star-forming regions that are often found within their cores.

It's not the first time the telescope has snapped a "smiley face".

The face is located in the galaxy cluster SDSS J0952+3434. It showed a number of bright lights in different shapes, colors, and sizes.

NASA says, ' Two yellow-hued blobs hang atop a sweeping arc of light.

According to the US space agency, the lower arc is created by gravitational lensing - an effect caused by light getting deformed due to the influence of a massive object on its path.

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The arc of light, NASA says, is due to the light passing a massive gravity source, causing it to bend. Because of its position, the space telescope can see and capture the effect, which cannot be detected by ground-based observatories. This galactic interaction disrupted the clouds of gas and dust surrounding ESO 338-4 and led to the rapid formation of a new population of stars.

By analysing the luminosity, size and formation rate of young stars in images like these, researchers at NASA hope to better understand how stars are formed in the cold and dusty corners of the Universe.

Launched in 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope has made more than 1.3 million observations of stars, galaxies, black holes and other celestial targets, including some that are more than 13 billion light-years away.

The Hubble telescope returned to normal operations on October 26 after successfully recovering a backup gyroscope replacing a failed in October.

The Hubble Space Telescope has been in space, looking across the universe for almost 30 years.

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