Hubble Heritage Project

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The Hubble Heritage Project was founded by a group of astronomers in 1998. The team releases on an almost monthly basis pictures of celestial objects like planets, stars, galaxies and galaxy clusters.

A team of astronomers and image processing specialists selects images from the Hubble Space Telescope's public data archive, which are usually only shared within the astronomical community. Because most of the photos were taken for scientific reasons they often lack sufficient exposure across a range of colors. A small amount of observation time with the Hubble Space Telescope has been granted to the team to fill in the gaps in these images.

The Project has been recognized for its contribution to public inspiration in producing some of the most aesthetically pleasing images ever produced in astronomy. Achievements for the team include the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 2003 Klumpke-Roberts Award for "outstanding contributions to the public understanding and appreciation of astronomy." In 2002, two Heritage images were selected in the Rochester Institute of Technology's "Images From Science" traveling gallery exhibit. Several images have been selected by the US and UK postal systems. In 2000, a first-class US postage stamp showing the Ring Nebula was one of five Hubble images selected to be part of a commemorative series of stamps honoring astronomer Edwin P. Hubble.

The website of the project contains a lot of information about the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, including a lot of interesting images taken by the Hubble, and information about the future of Hubble. The images on the site are the most notable ones taken by Hubble, and are specifically enhanced with color for release to the public. They are available in different formats, including as computer wallpapers.

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