“With the Hubble telescope and all the other things that are out there, I believe something would have come through. Today, I really believe we are unique.” -Mark Goddard
A visible-light telescope can reveal incredible views of nebulae, thanks to multi-wavelength imaging and advanced camera technology.
But in order to view what happens inside, you have to go into space.
Visible light can reveal the wispy tendrils of evaporating gas, the presence of various elements and light-blocking dust.
But to see the location of stars and the density of the heated, star-forming material, an infrared telescope is necessary.
Hubble provides the best visible light views, achieving better resolution and identifying more detail than any other observatory.
But thanks to the infrared views of the Wide Field Camera 3, stars, gas globules and even external, background galaxies can be revealed.
Even inside the largest, most spectacular star-forming regions, infrared views can reveal stars that would otherwise be obscured by neutral atoms.
Red giant stars shine brightest of all in the infrared, as hotter, more massive stars emit predominantly blue light.
Even the Pillars of Creation, breathtakingly imaged by Hubble, displays stars still in the process of forming in the infrared.
When the James Webb Space Telescope launches next year, it will look farther and deeper into the infrared than any observatory ever has, uncovering secrets hiding in the remote Universe.