After Repair Mission, Hubble Delivers New Stunning Desktop Backgrounds Once Again

These are the first deep space photos sent by the Hubble after the long and risky May repair mission. Eat your heart out, Snow Leopard. This is my favorite, but there are more:

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The image on the top is NGC 6302, a dying star 3,800 light years from us. The stellar butterfly is formed by the material ejected from the star, two gas hells roaring at 36,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and traveling at 600,000 miles an hour. Not a good place to spend your next vacation, but one heck of a view.

It was taken by the new Wide Field Camera 3, which was installed during the mission. This camera has replaced the WFPC2, adding a second channel in the near-infrarred range. It covers the visible spectrum, part of the near-ultraviolet, and portion of the near-infrared, complementing the infrared channel, which goes from 800 to 1700 nanometers. According to NASA,

With these two channels, WFC3 will achieve excellent panchromatic (full - spectrum) imaging. Stellar objects are not just in the visible spectrum, but also exist in the blue (near-UV) and red (near-IR) extremes. WFC3 was designed to study light in these regions of the spectrum better than Hubble's current capabilities.

In other words: Expect even more kick ass photos from now on. [NASA]