Week in science: Hubble telescope celebrates 20 years | Spitzer ‘tastes’ a methane-free planetary puzzler | Adoptive parents bring biases to process

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    The Hubble Space Telescope is celebrating its 20th anniversary. In the spirit of the occasion, the famous telescope has captured this phantasmagorical image deep within the Carina Nebula. Not too shabby for a telescope with two decades under its belt. NASA and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team describe it best: “This craggy fantasy mountaintop enshrouded by wispy clouds looks like a bizarre landscape from Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’ or a Dr. Seuss book, depending on your imagination. The NASA Hubble Space Telescope image, which is even more dramatic than fiction, captures the chaotic activity atop a three-light-year-tall pillar of gas and dust that is being eaten away by the brilliant light from nearby bright stars. The pillar is also being assaulted from within, as infant stars buried inside it fire off jets of gas that can be seen streaming from towering peaks.” [NASA and Discovery News]

Image: Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 observed the pillar of gas and dust within the Carina Nebula, 7,500 light-years away in the southern constellation Carina. (NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team)

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