On April 2nd, Hubble turned to the 'Cone Nebula', a gaseous pillar in the Milky Way 2500 light years from Earth.
1 lightyear = +/- 9'460'528'400'000'000 km
We're talking about 2500 here.
After a 3.4 hour exposure, the telescope produced the beautiful image of the Cone Nebula seen below.
The stellar region is described as 'abounding in stellar nurseries where natal clouds of gas and dust are buffeted by energetic winds from newborn stars' by N.A.S.A. scientists.
The image was released on April, 30th the same year and it went on sale on SkyImageLab.com. This website is specialised in selling astronomical observatorie photographes. As soon as the image went on sale, the administrators of the site noticed something strange happening. Sales for the 'Cone Nebula' image went through the roof. James Turley, the site’s managing editor, couldn't explain the sudden rush of orders. CNN even interviewed him on this fact on November 2nd, 2002.
He said: 'I was curious when we took an order for over 100 Cone Nebula images. The customer told us to look for the face of Jesus Christ embedded in the pillars. She called the Hubble image the ‘Jesus Nebula’. Being scientists, we were sceptical, at first.'
But James Turley, in his full scientific awairness though 'sceptical at first', was eventually convinced. His site now introduces the picture by saying: 'Can you see the image of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, crowned by a sparkling ring of thorns as stars?' Thus it was said: ‘And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory’ (Matthew 24:30)'. You can buy it HERE.
The image is approximately 2 lightyears in height (remember: 1 lightyear = +/- 9'460'528'400'000'000 km), making it the largest claimed Christian apparition. God is great! Literally...
In an attempt to solve great universal misteries, I sat down in front of the picture and BAAM, cheaply photoshopped visions came to me too! I agree that opinions might vary though...