VIDEO: The Hubble Telescope’s 25th anniversary picture explained

FOR 25 years the Hubble Telescope has been unearthing the many wonders of the universe to us mere humans.

To mark the major milestone, the South Downs Planetarium in Chichester was one of only a handful of centres across the UK to host a special celebratory event today, Friday April 24.

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows the cluster of stars called Westerlund 2 and its surroundings

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows the cluster of stars called Westerlund 2 and its surroundings

A special 25th anniversary picture released by NASA was on show at the planetarium, where invited guests gathered to listen to Dr John Mason, an expert in astronomy, explain how significant Hubble has been in explaining some of the mysteries of the universe.

Dr Mason explained that the image captured a young cluster of stars called Westerlund 2, which were blowing winds across space and creating the wonderful mix of colours and textures on display.

Calling it ‘a bit like a cosmic firework display’, he said: “It’s an absolutely fabulous picture and it shows just how good Hubble is, and how it can reveal the wonders of the universe in which we live.

“In 25 years the Hubble space telescope has rewritten the textbook in just about ever area of astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology.

Dr John Mason leads the special celebrations at the South Downs Planetarium in Chichester. Events are going on all this weekend

Dr John Mason leads the special celebrations at the South Downs Planetarium in Chichester. Events are going on all this weekend

“There are so many things we know now that we would never have known if it wasn’t for the Hubble Telescope.”

And he added: “We are one of only six places in the UK and we maybe the only volunteer-run organisation, so that’s quite special for us.

“It’s wonderful that we were chosen, it’s a great honour that we were picked by NASA and ESA to do this and we’re just thrilled about it.”

And there are a host of shows going on right across the weekend, including Hubble’s best 100 images, and birth, life and death of stars.

For more information either telephone 01243 774400 or visit the South Downs Planetarium {website http://www.southdowns.org.uk/| http://www.southdowns.org.uk/}