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NASA, ESA, and M. Livio (STScI)

This image of a bright star-forming region was taken by the Hubble telescope to commemorate its 100,000th orbit. The star cluster NGC 2074 (the bright grouping of stars at upper, left) is near the starbirth area.

Many Hubble images like this one have a curious stair-step shape. These images come from a scientific instrument called the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2, or WFPC2 — one of the five instruments currently flown aboard the telescope. It is WFPC2’s unique design that creates the oddly shaped images.