Hanny’s mysterious object as examined by the Hubble space telescope. At the top, galaxy IC 2497 from which it comes. The object itself is this strange green gas cloud which is as big as our galaxy.
Credit: NASA/ESA/William Keel (University of Arizona, Tuscaloosa)/ Galaxy Zoo Team
Kathy Thornton replacing a solar panel on the Hubble Telescope, 10/14/1994.
[Courtesy of NASA]
Hubble Space Telescope: astronauts Grunsfeld and Linnehan in the space shuttle Columbia’s cargo bay, 2002 via
AHHHH THIS PHOTO IS BRILLIANT!
Strange Spots on Pluto Explained
The Hubble images, released in February, revealed Pluto as a molasses-colored world on the fringe of the solar system with surprising variations in brightness across its surface. Based on closer analysis, scientists say the darker spots may represent parts of the ground covered in a tar of primordial organic compounds.
Sunlight hits the methane and breaks it apart into its chemical components – hydrocarbons. Over millions of years this process makes a dark reddish-brown oil or tar-like substance that sticks to the ground. These darker areas spread larger as they absorb more sunlight and cause additional frost to sublimate. The bright spots, in turn, are thought to be related to areas covered in carbon monoxide frost.
These recent views of Pluto shows its appearance is changing with the seasons. But seasons are extremely long on Pluto; It takes 248 Earth-years to make a full trip around the sun. Until the mid-1980s, Pluto’s northern hemisphere was tilted away from the sun for over 100 years, accumulating a substantial amount of frost. Now the northern hemisphere is coming into sunlight and appears, as shown in the Hubble images, to have been growing brighter.
Now that Pluto is headed away from the sun, it will gradually get colder and its atmosphere will refreeze to its surface. In fact, that should have already started happening, but apparently it has not. It’s a mystery. Since Pluto’s atmosphere is so thin, when it freezes it will make only a frosty film of nitrogen and methane.
Image: This is the most detailed view to date of the entire surface of the dwarf planet Pluto, as constructed from multiple NASA Hubble Space Telescope photographs taken from 2002 to 2003. The center disk (180 degrees) has a mysterious bright spot that is unusually rich in carbon monoxide frost.Source: SPACE.com
Edwin P. Hubble—famed astronomer—and basketball star? In fact, Dr. Hubble was both. The University of Chicago alumnus was a member the UC Maroons team that in 1909 won the college championship over Indiana University. It’s only fitting that the man, the astronomer, the basketball star be honored for all of his accomplishments as the college championships are being played again in Indianapolis in 2010.
In this image from May 2009 during the Hubble servicing mission, NASA astronaut and fellow University of Chicago alumnus John Grunsfeld paid homage to Dr. Hubble, after whom the telescope was named, by photographing the team’s vintage basketball aboard space shuttle Atlantis. The Hubble Space Telescope is visible through the portholes.
Image Credit: NASA
The Hubble Space Telescope’s dramatic glimpse of the Carina Nebula, a gigantic cloud of dust and gas bustling with star-making activity, is a glorious feast for the eyes. Energetic young stars are sculpting a fantasy landscape of bubbles, valleys, mountains, and pillars. Now this celestial fantasyland has been brought into view for people who cannot explore the image by sight.
Max Mutchler, a research and instrument scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, and Noreen Grice, president of You Can Do Astronomy LLC and author of several tactile astronomy books, have created a touchable image of the Carina Nebula that is engaging for everyone, regardless of their visual ability.
The 17-by-11-inch color image is embossed with lines, slashes, and other markings that correspond to objects in the giant cloud, allowing visually impaired people to feel what they cannot see and form a picture of the nebula in their minds. The image’s design is also useful and intriguing for sighted people who have different learning styles.
Experience Hubble’s Universe in 3-D
This image depicts a vast canyon of dust and gas in the Orion Nebula from a 3-D computer model based on observations by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and created by science visualization specialists at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Md. A 3-D visualization of this model takes viewers on an amazing four-minute voyage through the 15-light-year-wide canyon.
The model takes viewers through an exhilarating ride through the Orion Nebula, a vast star-making factory 1,500 light-years away. This virtual space journey isn’t the latest video game but one of several groundbreaking astronomy visualizations created by specialists at STScI, the science operations center for NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. The cinematic space odysseys are part of the new Imax film Hubble 3D, which opens today at select IMAX theaters worldwide.
The 43-minute movie chronicles the 20-year life of Hubble and includes highlights from the May 2009 servicing mission to the Earth-orbiting observatory, with footage taken by the astronauts. The giant-screen film showcases some of Hubble’s breathtaking iconic pictures, such as the Eagle Nebula’s “Pillars of Creation,” as well as stunning views taken by the newly installed Wide Field Camera 3.
While Hubble pictures of celestial objects are awe-inspiring, they are flat 2-D photographs. For this film, those 2-D images have been converted into 3-D environments, giving the audience the impression they are space travelers taking a tour of Hubble’s most popular targets.
Based on a Hubble image of Orion released in 2006, the visualization was a collaborative effort between science visualization specialists at STScI, including Greg Bacon, who sculpted the Orion Nebula digital model, with input from STScI astronomer Massimo Roberto; the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and the Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
For some of the sequences, STScI imaging specialists developed new techniques for transforming the 2-D Hubble images into 3-D. STScI image processing specialists Lisa Frattare and Zolt Levay, for example, created methods of splitting a giant gaseous pillar in the Carina Nebula into multiple layers to produce a 3-D effect, giving the structure depth.
Image Credit: NASA, G. Bacon, L. Frattare, Z. Levay, and F. Summers (STScI/AURA)
Our universe through the eye of the Hubble Space Telescope.
A close-up of Astronaut John Grunsfeld shows the reflection of Astronaut Andrew Feustel, perched on the robotic arm and taking the photo. The pair teamed together on three of the five spacewalks during Servicing Mission 4 in May 2009.
The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute conducts Hubble science operations.
Goddard is responsible for HST project management, including mission and science operations, servicing missions, and all associated development activities.
To learn more about the Hubble Space Telescope go here:
Some absolutely mesmerising images from the Hubble Space Station on NASA’s Goddard Flight Centre’s Flickrstream.