This image was taken on May 21 and 22 by NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer. The image was made from data gathered during the missions "first light" milestone, and shows celestial objects in the constellation Hercules. The objects shown represent those detected by the camera's near ultraviolet channel over a 5-minute period. The radial streaks at the edge of the image are due to stars reflecting from the near ultraviolet detector window.
The Galaxy Evolution Explorer's first light images are dedicated to the crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia. The Hercules region was directly above Columbia when it made its last contact with NASA Mission Control on February 1, over the skies of Texas.
The Galaxy Evolution Explorer launched on April 28 on a mission to map the celestial sky in the ultraviolet and determine the history of star formation in the universe over the last 10 billion years.