Just take this newly common image of NGC 972a spiral galaxy detected by German-British astronomer William Herschel in 1784. It isn’t our nearest neighbor, at around 70 million light-years away, but it sure takes a fantastic photo.

The image was snapped by the Hubble Space Telescope, and as you no doubt see in the aforementioned discussion, the orange-pink flourishes peppered through the entire image will be the product of hydrogen gas, an integral foundation for star-formation, responding to the light introduced from new born stars. The darker patches of black pieces that are mixed in one of the smarter are cosmic debris.

NASA shares photos like that one all the time, plus they never get old. Hubble is a standard source of the stellar vision, but rememberit established in 1990 and is still almost 30 yrs old today. It has been serviced and updated over time, however, it’s still an old bit of technology.

While Hubble is expected to hang in there and keep on beaming vision back to Earth for another 10-20 years, its successor — that the James Webb Space Telescope — is expected to release in early 2021, also bring a range of improvements to Hubble’s core assignment of peering into deep space.