Origins Hubble a view to the edge of space  
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Why do some of the pictures have that strange shape?

The Wide-Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) instrument consists of four cameras. The Planetary Camera (PC) sees a narrow region of the sky, though the resulting digital images are the same size. The three Wide-Field Cameras (WFC) see a slightly wider, adjacent regions. When the resulting images are rotated and positioned and scaled appropriately, a mosaic with the characteristic shape results.

Planetary Camera 1 image of Eagle Nebula
Planetary Camera 1 image
plus sign Wide Field Camera 2 image
Wide Field Camera 2 image
plus sign Wide Field Camera 3 image
Wide Field Camera 3 image
plus sign Wide Field Camera 4 image
Wide Field Camera 4 image
equals sign Eagle Nebula mosaic image
Eagle nebula mosaic image

 

Check out "Idea to Image", from the Space Science Telescope Institute, for more about how Hubble's pictures are created.

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