The Hubble Telescope has reopened for business following the successful December 1999 servicing mission, and the first images to come back are magnificent. The first of these sites offers images and explanatory text related to the "Eskimo" Nebula, "the glowing remains of a dying, Sun-like star." The nebula is called the "Eskimo" because, when viewed from a ground-based telescope, it resembles a face surrounded by a fur parka. This parka is actually "a disk of material embellished with a ring of comet-shaped objects, with their tails streaming away from the central, dying star." Users can read about the nebula and view some beautiful images at the above URL. The second significant new view from the Hubble is of a huge cluster of galaxies called Abell 2218. This cluster is so massive that it actually deflects light passing through it, magnifying and distorting images from distant objects. Thus, "the cluster's magnifying powers provides a powerful 'zoom lens' for viewing distant galaxies that could not normally be observed with the largest telescopes." Text and photos in several formats can be accessed from the introductory page.
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