Everyone was unsure if the iconic Hubble Space Telescope would ever get back to work for a long time. Hubble experienced a hardware failure that prevented the space telescope from conducting scientific operations. The good news is that NASA was eventually able to sort the problem and get the telescope back up and running normally.
Now that Hubble is again imaging distant parts of the universe, NASA has shared a new image taken by the telescope. The image seen above is of the galaxy called NGC 1385. It is a spiral galaxy that is 68 million light-years away from Earth. NGC 1385 is in the constellation of Fornax, which is the Latin word for furnace.
The images were taken with the Wide Field Camera 3 aboard Hubble, which is responsible for some of the most iconic images the space telescope has taken during its decades in orbit. The camera is extremely reliable and highly versatile, making it a go-to instrument for scientists and mission controllers. Wide Field Camera 3 wasn’t originally part of the space telescope.
It was installed during a mission in 2009, which was the last time astronauts visited the space telescope. However, the camera continues to operate perfectly after over a decade of use. NGC 1385 was named Fornax by its discoverer Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille who discovered the constellation in 1713.
De Lacaille Was quite prolific in discovering and naming constellations. He is responsible for 14 of the 88 constellations recognized today. While many constellations are named after ancient pagan gods, de Lacaille favored naming constellations after scientific instruments. Among the constellations he named are Atila, Norma, and Telescopium. Those names translate to air pump, ruler, and telescope respectively.