Hubble's 28 years marked by shot of wild stellar nursery

Hubble's 28 years marked by shot of wild stellar nursery
This February 2018 image made available by NASA on Thursday, April 19, 2018 shows the Lagoon Nebula, about 4,000 light-years away from the Earth, with the star Herschel 36 at center. The young star, 200,000 times brighter than our Sun, is blasting powerful ultraviolet radiation and hurricane-like stellar winds, carving out structures in the surrounding gas and dust. (NASA, ESA, STScI via AP)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA is marking the 28th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope’s launch with a peek into a wild stellar nursery.

Scientists released the picture Thursday in advance of next week’s milestone.

Resembling a vivid watercolor painting, the photo captures an immense, blindingly bright star emerging from its cosmic nest in a burst of ultraviolet radiation and stellar wind. This star, Herschel 36, is located in the Lagoon Nebula 4,000 light-years away. The star is 32 times more massive than our sun.

Hubble flew into orbit April 24, 1990, aboard space shuttle Discovery. The telescope has scrutinized more than 43,500 celestial objects and racked up more than 1.5 million observations. It’s circled Earth more than 163,500 times and traveled even farther than the distance from here to Pluto.