Many amateurs have made discoveries and have developed astounding results by processing images using this data. Check out these amazing pics from amateurs across the globe that participated in the processing of Hubble's archived database . If a person knows how, they can too.:
Gravitationally Lensed Image of Distant Galaxy in Abell 68Credit: ASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage/ESA-Hubble CollaborationGravitationally lensed image of distant galaxy in Abell 68. Image released March 5, 2013
"ROADS? WHERE WE'RE GOING, WE DON'T NEED ROADS." Dr. Emmett Brown to Marty McFly in BACK TO THE FUTURE 2
Hubble Breaks Record in Search for Farthest Supernova
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has broken the record in the quest to find the farthest supernova of the type used to measure cosmic distances. Supernova UDS10Wil, nicknamed SN Wilson, after the 28th U.S. President, Woodrow Wilson, exploded more than 10 billion years ago (redshift 1.914). At that time, the universe was in its early formative years where stars were being born at a rapid rate.
SN Wilson belongs to a special class called Type Ia supernovae. These bright beacons are prized by astronomers because they provide a consistent level of brightness that can be used as a cosmic yardstick for measuring the expansion of space. They also yield clues to the nature of dark energy, the mysterious force accelerating the rate of expansion.
"The new distance record holder opens a window into the early universe, offering important new insights into how these stars explode," said astronomer David O. Jones of The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., lead author on the science paper detailing the discovery. "At that epoch, we can test theories about how reliable these detonations are for understanding the evolution of the universe and its expansion."
One of the debates surrounding Type Ia supernovae is the fuse that ignites them. This latest detection adds credence to one of two competing theories of how they explode. Although preliminary, the evidence favors the explosive merger of two burned-out stars, called white dwarfs.
The discovery was part of a three-year Hubble program, begun in 2010, to survey faraway Type Ia supernovae to determine if they have changed over the 13.8 billion years since the big bang, the explosive birth of the universe. Called the CANDELS+CLASH Supernova Project, the census uses the sharpness and versatility of Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) to assist astronomers in the search for supernovae in near-infrared light and verify their distance with spectroscopy. The survey searches for supernovae in two large Hubble programs, the Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey and the Cluster Lensing and Supernova Survey with Hubble, which study thousands of galaxies. The census is led by Adam Riess of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md., and The Johns Hopkins University.
Finding remote supernovae provides a powerful method to measure the universe's accelerating expansion due to dark energy. So far, Riess's team has uncovered more than 100 supernovae of all types and distances, ranging from 2.4 billion years ago to more than 10 billion years ago. Of those new discoveries, the team has identified eight Type Ia supernovae that exploded more than 9 billion years ago, including SN Wilson.
The supernova team's search technique involved taking multiple near-infrared images spaced roughly 50 days apart over the span of three years, looking for a supernova's faint glow. The team spotted SN Wilson in December 2010 in the CANDELS survey. They then used WFC3's spectrometer and the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope to verify the supernova's distance and to decode its light, finding the unique signature of a Type Ia supernova.
Though SN Wilson is only four percent farther than the previous distance record holder, it pushes roughly 350 million years further back in time. The last record breaker was announced just three months ago by a separate team led by David Rubin of the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California.
"These supernovae are important tools for studying the dark energy that is speeding up the expansion of space," Riess explained. "This study gives us a chance to 'stress test' the supernovae themselves to test how well we understand them."
Astronomers, however, still have much to learn about the nature of dark energy and how Type Ia supernovae explode.
"The Type Ia supernovae give us the most precise yardstick ever built, but we're not quite sure if it always measures exactly a yard," said team member Steve Rodney of The Johns Hopkins University. "The more we understand these supernovae, the more precise our cosmic yardstick will become."
By finding Type Ia supernovae so early in the universe, astronomers can distinguish between two competing explosion models. In one model the explosion is caused by a merger between two white dwarfs. In another, a white dwarf gradually feeds off its partner, a normal star, and explodes when it accretes too much mass.
The team's preliminary evidence shows a sharp decline in the rate of Type Ia supernova blasts between roughly 7.5 billion years ago and more than 10 billion years ago. The steep drop-off favors the merger of two white dwarfs because it predicts that most stars in the early universe are too young to become Type Ia supernovae.
"If supernovae were popcorn, the question is how long before they start popping?" Riess said. "You may have different theories about what is going on in the kernel. If you see when the first kernels popped and how often they popped, it tells you something important about the process of popping corn."
In the two white-dwarf scenario, the first supernovae pop off about 400 million years after they are born as stars, and then the rate gradually declines over time. "There is a cosmic 'high noon' for star formation at about 10 billion years ago," Rodney explained. "If most of the supernovae were exploding very shortly after their birth, then we would see a cosmic 'high noon' for supernova explosions at about the same time. We are actually finding relatively few supernovae like SN Wilson at the time of peak star formation, and this favors the double white-dwarf model, with a modest time delay between formation and explosion."
Knowing the type of trigger for Type Ia supernovae will also show how quickly the universe enriched itself with heavier elements, such as iron. These exploding stars produce about half of the iron in the universe, the raw material for building planets and life.
The team's results have been accepted for publication in an upcoming issue of The Astrophysical Journal. CONTACT
Ray Villard Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md. 410-338-4514 firstname.lastname@example.org
J.D. Harrington NASA HQ, Washington, D.C. 202-358-5241 email@example.com
Hubble Telescope Photographs Potential 'Comet of the Century'[/color]
by Mike Wall, SPACE.com Senior Writer Date: 23 April 2013
This NASA Hubble Space Telescope image of Comet ISON was taken on April 10, 2013, when the comet was slightly closer than Jupiter's orbit at a distance of 386 million miles from the sun (394 million miles from Earth). CREDIT: NASA, ESA, J.-Y. Li (Planetary Science Institute), and the Hubble Comet ISON Imaging Science Team
NASA's iconic Hubble Space Telescope has snapped stunning new photos of Comet ISON, which could become one of the brightest comets ever seen when it zips through the inner solar system this fall.
Hubble captured the new photos on April 10, when Comet ISON was slightly closer than Jupiter. At the time the icy wanderer was about 386 million miles (621 million kilometers) from the sun and 394 million miles (634 million km) from Earth.
The bright clusters and nebulae of planet Earth's night sky are often named for flowers or insects. Though its wingspan covers over 3 light-years, NGC 6302 is no exception. With an estimated surface temperature of about 250,000 degrees C, the dying central star of this particular planetary nebula has become exceptionally hot, shining brightly in ultraviolet light but hidden from direct view by a dense torus of dust.
This sharp and colorful close-up of the dying star's nebula was recorded in 2009 by the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Camera 3, installed during the final shuttle servicing mission. Cutting across a bright cavity of ionized gas, the dust torus surrounding the central star is near the center of this view, almost edge-on to the line-of-sight. Molecular hydrogen has been detected in the hot star's dusty cosmic shroud. NGC 6302 lies about 4,000 light-years away in the arachnologically correct constellation of the Scorpion (Scorpius).
Hubble Uncovers Evidence for Extrasolar Planet Under Construction
News release from NASA:
June 13, 2013
J.D. Harrington Headquarters, Washington 202-358-5241 firstname.lastname@example.org
Donna Weaver Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md. 410-338-4493 email@example.com
NASA'S HUBBLE UNCOVERS EVIDENCE OF FARTHEST PLANET FORMING FROM ITS STAR
WASHINGTON — Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have found compelling evidence of a planet forming 7.5 billion miles away from its star, a finding that may challenge current theories about planet formation.
Of the almost 900 planets outside our solar system that have been confirmed to date, this is the first to be found at such a great distance from its star. The suspected planet is orbiting the diminutive red dwarf TW Hydrae, a popular astronomy target located 176 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Hydra the Sea Serpent.
Hubble's keen vision detected a mysterious gap in a vast protoplanetary disk of gas and dust swirling around TW Hydrae. The gap is 1.9 billion miles wide and the disk is 41 billion miles wide. The gap's presence likely was caused by a growing, unseen planet that is gravitationally sweeping up material and carving out a lane in the disk, like a snow plow.
The planet is estimated to be relatively small, at 6 to 28 times more massive than Earth. Its wide orbit means it is moving slowly around its host star. If the suspected planet were orbiting in our solar system, it would be roughly twice Pluto's distance from the sun.
Planets are thought to form over tens of millions of years. The buildup is slow, but persistent as a budding planet picks up dust, rocks, and gas from the protoplanetary disk. A planet 7.5 billion miles from its star should take more than 200 times longer to form than Jupiter did (no more than 10 million years by current estimates) at its distance of 500 million miles from the sun because of its much slower orbital speed and the deficiency of material in the disk.
TW Hydrae is only 8 million years old, making it an unlikely star to host a planet, according to this theory. There has not been enough time for a planet to grow through the slow accumulation of smaller debris. Complicating the story further is that TW Hydrae is only 55 percent as massive as our sun.
"It's so intriguing to see a system like this," said John Debes of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md. Debes leads a research team that identified the gap. "This is the lowest-mass star for which we've observed a gap so far out."
An alternative planet-formation theory suggests that a piece of the disk becomes gravitationally unstable and collapses on itself. In this scenario, a planet could form more quickly, in just a few thousand years.
"If we can actually confirm that there's a planet there, we can connect its characteristics to measurements of the gap properties," Debes said. "That might add to planet formation theories as to how you can actually form a planet very far out."
The TW Hydrae disk also lacks large dust grains in its outer regions. Observations from the Atacama Large Millimeter Array in the Atacama desert of northern Chile, show dust grains roughly the size of a grain of sand are not present beyond about 5.5 billion miles from the star, just short of the gap.
"Typically, you need pebbles before you can have a planet. So, if there is a planet and there is no dust larger than a grain of sand farther out, that would be a huge challenge to traditional planet formation models," Debes said.
The team used Hubble's Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) to observe the star in near-infrared light. The researchers then compared the NICMOS images with archival Hubble data and optical and spectroscopic observations from Hubble's Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS). Debes said researchers see the gap at all wavelengths, which indicates it is a structural feature and not an illusion caused by the instruments or scattered light.
The team's paper will appear online on June 14 in The Astrophysical Journal.
For images, illustrations, and more information about TW Hydrae, visit:
'Space Penguin' PHOTO: Hubble Captures Arp 142 Galactic Collision In The Constellation Hydra
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... Space Penguin!
Alright, it's not exactly "Star Wars." But this image, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, does show a dramatic clash of galaxies. Scientists believe that the head of the bird (in the upper portion of the photograph) is the result of the collision between the spiral galaxy NGC 2936 and the elliptical galaxy NGC 2937 (lower left).
Together, the galactic pair are known as Arp 142, which is located about 326 million light-years from Earth n the constellation Hydra.
Once part of a flat, spiral disk, the orbits of the galaxy's stars have become scrambled due to gravitational tidal interactions with the other galaxy. This warps the galaxy's orderly spiral, and interstellar gas is strewn out into giant tails like stretched taffy.
According to Hubblecast, the galaxy collision occurring in Arp 142 throws clouds of gas and dust together at breakneck speeds, triggering the formation of new stars.
Hubble Views a Scattering of Spiral and Elliptical Galaxies
This image shows the massive galaxy cluster MACS J0152.5-2852, captured in detail by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Camera 3. Almost every object seen here is a galaxy, each containing billions of stars. Galaxies are not usually randomly distributed in space, but instead appear in concentrations of hundreds, held together by their mutual gravity. Elliptical galaxies, like the yellow fuzzy objects seen in the image, are most often found close to the centers of galaxy clusters, while spirals, such as the bluish patches, are usually found to be further out and more isolated.
This light-year-long knot of interstellar gas and dust resembles a caterpillar on its way to a feast. But the meat of the story is not only what this cosmic caterpillar eats for lunch, but also what's eating it. Harsh winds from extremely bright stars are blasting ultraviolet radiation at this "wanna-be" star and sculpting the gas and dust into its long shape.
The culprits are 65 of the hottest, brightest known stars, classified as O-type stars, located 15 light-years away from the knot, towards the right edge of the image. These stars, along with 500 less bright, but still highly luminous B-type stars make up what is called the Cygnus OB2 association. Collectively, the association is thought to have a mass more than 30,000 times that of our sun.
The caterpillar-shaped knot, called IRAS 20324+4057, is a protostar in a very early evolutionary stage. It is still in the process of collecting material from an envelope of gas surrounding it. However, that envelope is being eroded by the radiation from Cygnus OB2. Protostars in this region should eventually become young stars with final masses about one to ten times that of our sun, but if the eroding radiation from the nearby bright stars destroys the gas envelope before the protostars finish collecting mass, their final masses may be reduced.
Spectroscopic observations of the central star within IRAS 20324+4057 show that it is still collecting material quite heavily from its outer envelope, hoping to bulk up in mass. Only time will tell if the formed star will be a "heavy-weight" or a "light-weight" with respect to its mass.
This image of IRAS 20324+4057 is a composite of Hubble Advanced Camera for Surveys data taken in green and infrared light in 2006, and ground-based hydrogen data from the Isaac Newton Telescope in 2003. The object lies 4,500 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus.
Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
Have you ever wondered how astronomers decide what the +Hubble Space Telescope observes? Who gets access to the most powerful telescope in orbit above the Earth? How do we determine what objects Hubble focuses on?
Follow us on a journey as an observing proposal for the Hubble Space Telescope goes from idea to observations to data to analysis. Please join +Tony Darnell +Carol Christian and +Scott Lewis as they discuss how the Hubble Space Telescope is used with the astronomers who are charged with its operation.
Today's #HubbleHangout is now available on @youtube. Hope to see you all next week!
HUBBLE HANGOUT/ AUGUST 7, 2014
Hubble Observes Unusual 'String of Pearls' Structure in a Galaxy Collision
Streamed live on Aug 7, 2014
Recent observations from the +Hubble Space Telescope have uncovered an uncanny 100,000-light-year-long structure that looks like a string of pearls twisted into a corkscrew shape that winds around the cores of two colliding galaxies.
The unusual structure may yield new insights into the formation of stellar superclusters, the merger-driven growth of galaxies, and gas dynamics in the rarely seen merger process of two giant elliptical galaxies.
Please join +Tony Darnell Dr. +Carol Christian and +Scott Lewis Lewis as they discuss this discovery with the astronomers who made the observations and working to understand the origin of this chain of young, blue "super star clusters".
As always, your comments and questions are encouraged and welcome!
In the center of this Hubble Telescope image is the galaxy cluster SDSS J1038+4849 — and it appears to be smiling back at you.
The two orange eyes of the grinning face are actually two distant galaxies, and the peculiar smile was caused by an effect known as strong gravitational lensing.
Galaxy clusters are so large that they can create a strong gravitational pull that warps the time and space surrounding them. From afar this creates a distorted view of reality, known as a ‘cosmic lens.’
This year marks 25 years of amazing images and science from the Hubble Space Telescope. To celebrate, we've assemble 25 images that represent both the beauty of the universe captured by Hubble and the important science realized by this wonderful telescope orbiting over our heads.
Please join +Tony Darnell, Dr +Carol Christian and +Scott Lewis as they discuss these images with Dr. Ken Sembach, Hubble Mission Head at STScI.
Public Invited to NASA Goddard Hubble Space Telescope 25th Anniversary Celebration March 28, 2015
Hubble Space Telescope This photograph of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope was taken on the second servicing mission to the observatory in 1997. Image Credit: NASA
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, will mark 25 years since the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope with a free public event at its visitor center on Saturday, March 28, 2015, from 7 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. EDT. There are ongoing activities and two sessions, one beginning at 7 p.m. and the second beginning at 9 p.m. Anyone wishing to attend is asked to register because space is limited.
On April 24, 2015, NASA will mark the 25th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope’s launch. Since its launch, Hubble has allowed astronomers to observe the universe in stunning clarity, revealed properties of space and time, and shed light on many of the great mysteries of the universe making conjectures certainties. Today, Hubble continues to provide views of cosmic wonders never before seen and is at the forefront of many new discoveries.
The first presentation session will include engaging lectures that will start at 7 p.m., with a second session at 9 p.m. for those who miss the first session. Presenters include Michael Soluri, a New York City-based documentary photographer, speaker and author; and Dr. Jennifer Wiseman, a senior astrophysicist at NASA Goddard where she serves as the senior project scientist for the Hubble Space Telescope.
Soluri's photography has appeared in numerous American, European and Brazilian print and online publications like Time, Discover, Air & Space, NPR.org, Family Circle, Mother Earth News, Wired UK, Grazia, Amica, Vogue Brasil and Claudia. His recently published book, "Infinite Worlds," has been cited in Quest, Air & Space, Discover, Spaceflight Insider and Space Collect, among other publications. Images from the book are currently being exhibited in “Outside the Spacecraft: 50 Years of Extra-Vehicular Activity” at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington; “Hubble@25” at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York; and the space shuttle Atlantis pavilion at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Wiseman previously headed the Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics Laboratory at Goddard. She studies the formation of stars in interstellar clouds using optical, infrared and radio telescopes. She discovered a comet while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She earned a doctorate in astronomy from Harvard University.
Soluri will open Session 1 at 7 p.m. and Session 2 at 9 p.m. Wiseman will follow Soluri in Session 1 at 7:30 p.m., and in Session 2 at 9:30 p.m.
Soluri will share the insights of his three-year photographic journey documenting the final Hubble servicing missions. Wiseman will highlight stunning space images, references to key scientific advancements and a description of unexpected discoveries enabled by the success of Hubble.
Throughout the evening, additional activities will include:
Stargazing (viewing Jupiter, the moon and other astronomical objects) through telescopes of the Goddard Astronomy Club Science-on-a-Sphere shows of Earth and space science Hands-on demonstrations of astronaut tools used to service Hubble Images on display from Hubble
Guests should arrive at least 15 minutes before their registered session to allow for time to parking and checking in.
For more information about Hubble’s 25th anniversary, visit: hubble25th.org
Location: National Academy of Sciences Building, 2101 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington DC image
“What is our place in the Universe?” Throughout human history, astronomy has repeatedly overthrown our understanding of this question and new telescopes and astronomers continue to do so. Join Jason Kalirai of the Space Telescope Science Institute as he explores 6,000 years of human astronomy, showcases the biggest discoveries of the Hubble Space Telescope, including some of his own work, and ponders current mysteries of the Universe that may be unlocked by NASA's next flagship telescopes.
This talk is open to the public and accessible to all ages.
About the Mission
On April 24, 1990, the space shuttle Discovery lifted off from Earth with the Hubble Space Telescope nestled securely in its bay. The following day, Hubble was released into space, ready to peer into the vast unknown. Since then, Hubble has reinvigorated and reshaped our perception of the cosmos and uncovered a universe where almost anything seems possible within the laws of physics. Hubble has revealed properties of space and time that for most of human history were only probed in the imaginations of scientists and philosophers alike. Today, Hubble continues to provide views of cosmic wonders never before seen and is at the forefront of many new discoveries.
Shortly after Hubble was deployed in 1990, the observatory's primary mirror was discovered to have a flaw that affected the clarity of the telescope's early images. Astronauts repaired Hubble in December 1993. Including that trip, there have been five astronaut servicing missions to Hubble. The first servicing mission occurred Dec. 2-13, 1993. Subsequent servicing missions occurred on Feb. 11-21, 1997; Dec.19-27, 1999; March 1-12, 2002; and May 11-24, 2009.
The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Md., conducts Hubble science operations. STScI is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., in Washington, DC.
A dying star’s final moments are captured in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The death throes of this star may only last mere moments on a cosmological timescale, but this star’s demise is still quite lengthy by our standards, lasting tens of thousands of years!
The star’s agony has culminated in a wonderful planetary nebula known as NGC 6565, a cloud of gas that was ejected from the star after strong stellar winds pushed the star’s outer layers away into space. Once enough material was ejected, the star’s luminous core was exposed and it began to produce ultraviolet radiation, exciting the surrounding gas to varying degrees and causing it to radiate in an attractive array of colours. These same colours can be seen in the famous and impressive Ring Nebula (heic1310), a prominent example of a nebula like this one.
Planetary nebulae are illuminated for around 10 000 years before the central star begins to cool and shrink to become a white dwarf. When this happens, the star’s light drastically diminishes and ceases to excite the surrounding gas, so the nebula fades from view.
A version of this image was entered into the Hubble’s Hidden Treasures basic image competition by contestant Matej Novak.
Showcased at the centre of this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image is an emission-line star known as IRAS 12196-6300.
Located just under 2300 light-years from Earth, this star displays prominent emission lines, meaning that the star’s light, dispersed into a spectrum, shows up as a rainbow of colours marked with a characteristic pattern of dark and bright lines. The characteristics of these lines, when compared to the “fingerprints” left by particular atoms and molecules, can be used to reveal IRAS 12196-6300’s chemical composition.
Under 10 million years old and not yet burning hydrogen at its core, unlike the Sun, this star is still in its infancy. Further evidence of IRAS 12196-6300’s youth is provided by the presence of reflection nebulae. These hazy clouds, pictured floating above and below IRAS 12196-6300, are created when light from a star reflects off a high concentration of nearby dust, such as the dusty material still remaining from IRAS 12196-6300’s formation.
nasagoddardHubble has entered a Blue Period, and we're liking it.
A large blue bubble with a bright star in the center on a black background filled with stars
Sparkling at the center of this beautiful NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image is a Wolf–Rayet star known as WR 31a, located about 30,000 light-years away in the constellation of Carina (The Keel). The distinctive blue bubble appearing to encircle WR 31a is a Wolf–Rayet nebula — an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen, helium and other gases. Created when speedy stellar winds interact with the outer layers of hydrogen ejected by Wolf–Rayet stars, these nebulae are frequently ring-shaped or spherical. The bubble — estimated to have formed around 20,000 years ago — is expanding at a rate of around 220,000 kilometers (136,700 miles) per hour!
Unfortunately, the lifecycle of a Wolf–Rayet star is only a few hundred thousand years — the blink of an eye in cosmic terms. Despite beginning life with a mass at least 20 times that of the sun, Wolf–Rayet stars typically lose half their mass in less than 100,000 years. And WR 31a is no exception to this case. It will, therefore, eventually end its life as a spectacular supernova, and the stellar material expelled from its explosion will later nourish a new generation of stars and planets.
The Impact of Astronomy on Our Technological World.
The cosmic pictures taken by Hubble are among the best known on the planet. Behind these famous perceptions stands an advanced instrument, in view of world-evolving innovation. A hefty portion of the advancements utilized and created for Hubble and different telescopes have discovered their way into different fields and callings, and in addition our regular day to day existences. This new Hubblecast indicates what number of the advancements encompassing us owe their starting points, or improvement, to key astronomy and development in cosmology. Watch the 11 minute video:science-nature-space.blogspot.com/2017/04/how-astronomy-space-science-and-hubble.html
Hubble Space Telescope Apparently in 'Safe Mode' After Gyroscope Failure
By Mike Wall, Space.com Senior Writer | October 8, 2018
Hubble, which has been observing the heavens since 1990, went into a protective safe mode after another one of its orientation-maintaining gyroscopes failed, mission team members said Sunday night (Oct. 7).
"It’s true. Very stressful weekend. Right now HST is in safe mode while we figure out what to do. Another gyro failed. First step is try to bring back the last gyro, which had been off, and is being problematic," Rachel Osten, Hubble's deputy mission head at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, said via Twitter Sunday, in response to tweeted questions and comments about the gyroscope's rumored failure.
Hubble has six gyroscopes, all of which were replaced by spacewalking astronauts during a servicing mission in May 2009. The telescope needs three working gyroscopes to "ensure optimal efficiency," mission team members have written, and the failure brings that number down to two (if the "problematic" one that had been off can't be brought back online).
But that doesn't mean it's time to panic. Hubble can do good science with two gyroscopes, or even one, astrophysicist Grant Tremblay, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said via Twitter Sunday.
"*IF* the third doesn't spin back up, I wouldn't be surprised if they drop to 1 gyro mode, keeping the second as reserve. @rachelosten might know, but I imagine it's a stressful, difficult decision. Let's just hope the brilliant people at @stsci can recover the third. Stress," he tweeted.
"It’s not a difficult decision, @astrogrant: the plan has always been to drop to 1-gyro mode when two remain. There isn’t much difference between 2- and 1, and it buys lots of extra observing time. Which the Astro community wants desperately," Osten tweeted in response.
"Not really scary, we knew it was coming. The gyro lasted about six months longer than we thought it would (almost pulled the plug on it back in the spring). We’ll work through the issues and be back," Osten added in another tweet.
Neither NASA nor its partner on the mission, the European Space Agency, had made an official statement about the gyroscope issue as of Sunday night.
Hubble isn't the only famous NASA robot experiencing some technical difficulties at the moment. The agency's Opportunity Mars rover hasn't made a peep since June 10, when a massive dust storm blocked so much sunlight that the solar-powered rover couldn't recharge its batteries. That storm has since abated, and Opportunity team members recently ramped up attempts to hail the six-wheeled robot, which has been exploring the Red Planet since January 2004.
Opportunity's younger, bigger cousin, Curiosity, recently switched to its backup computer after experiencing memory problems with its main brain. And the Kepler space telescope, which has discovered about 70 percent of the confirmed 3,800 exoplanets to date, is running so low on fuel that its handlers recently shut it off, to make sure it has enough propellant left to orient itself toward Earth and beam its latest data haul back to Earth next week.
NASA's Dawn spacecraft, which has been circling the dwarf planet Ceres since March 2015, is also running low on fuel. Its groundbreaking mission could end as soon as this month, Dawn team members have said.
By Elizabeth Howell, Space.com Contributor | January 27, 2019
Time to change your desktop pictures. The Hubble Space Telescope has produced an amazing paannamic image of the Triangulum Galaxy, one of the closest galactic neighbors to Earth.
The famed space observatory captured a swirling spiral of stars in 54 fields of view, capturing data across a span of some 19,000 light-years, Hubble researchers said in a statement. (One light-year is the distance light travels in a year, about 6 trillion miles, or 10 trillion kilometers.)
The result is a huge picture of Triangulum — also called M33 — that encompasses some 25 million viewable stars. While the image is an art piece in itself, astronomers will use it to learn more about the neighborhood near the Milky Way, which is our own galaxy.
The stunning Triangulum Galaxy as imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope. Credit: M. Durbin/J. Dalcanton/B.F. Williams (University of Washington)/NASA/ESA
Triangulum is one of several galaxies near the Earth, residing in a zone known as the Local Group. The group includes dozens of members, but is dominated by the big three galaxies of Andromeda (which Hubble also captured in high resolution in 2015), the Milky Way and Triangulum.
Triangulum's star formation is about 10 times more intense than what was captured in Hubble's picture of Andromeda, so astronomers say the new picture of Triangulum will uncover some of the mechanisms of that star formation, according to the statement.
"Astronomers think that in the Local Group, Triangulum has been something of an introvert, isolated from frequent interactions with other galaxies while keeping busy producing stars along organized spiral arms. Uncovering the Triangulum Galaxy's story will provide an important point of reference in understanding how galaxies develop over time, and the diverse paths that shape what we see today," researchers said in the statement.
Close-up views of the Triangulum Galaxy. Credit: M. Durbin/J. Dalcanton/B.F. Williams (University of Washington)/NASA/ESA
Hubble is nearing 30 years of operations this year since its launch in 1990, and remains in excellent health. NASA has said operations should continue even beyond the launch of the next-generation James Webb Space Telescope, which is currently scheduled for launch in 2021.
The new version of Hubble's deep image. In dark grey is the new light that has been found around the galaxies in this field. That light corresponds to the brightness of more than 100 billion suns. Credit: A. S. Borlaff et al.
One of the Hubble Space Telescope's most famous images peered even deeper into the cosmos than scientists had thought.
That photo is the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field (HUDF), which combines hundreds of images taken by the space telescope over multiple years into the deepest view of the universe ever created. The composite pic of a small patch of sky contains a whopping 10,000 galaxies, astronomers have estimated. (The HUDF also refers to that patch of sky, not just imagery of it.)
Now, researchers have painstakingly reprocessed the iconic image, recovering lots of additional light, a new study reports. [The Most Amazing Hubble Space Telescope Discoveries!]
"What we have done is to go back to the archive of the original images, directly as observed by the HST, and improve the process of combination, aiming at the best image quality not only for the more distant smaller galaxies but also for the extended regions of the largest galaxies," study leader Alejandro Borlaff, from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) in the Canary Islands, said in a statement.
The new work revealed that some of the galaxies in the HUDF view are nearly twice as big as previously thought, study team members said.
The Hubble Space Telescope launched to Earth orbit in April 1990 aboard NASA's space shuttle Discovery. The scope got off to an inauspicious start; its initial images were blurry, a problem that mission team members traced to a slight flaw in Hubble's primary mirror.
Spacewalking astronauts fixed that problem in December 1993, giving Hubble the sharp focus it's known for today.
The 2012 version of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field image. Credit: R. Ellis (Caltech), and the HUDF 2012 Team/NASA/ESA
That was the first of five servicing missions that repaired, maintained and upgraded the telescope over the years. The most recent of these, which occurred in May 2009, installed what is today Hubble's main eye on the universe, an instrument called the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3).
The HUDF image has long been a work in progress. The first version combined data gathered by Hubble from late 2003 to early 2004; later updates have incorporated additional imagery in various wavelengths of light.
The new study, which was published this month in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, looked at the 2012 incarnation of the HUDF, which relied heavily on data gathered by the WFC3.
casper: Skywalker just fixed it. You know what that means. It's doomed.
Apr 29, 2018 19:36:53 GMT -6
skywalker: Very funny, ghost boy
Jun 3, 2018 14:58:58 GMT -6
lois: Casper he should come fix mine. Mine is doomed
Jun 26, 2018 21:54:27 GMT -6
spotless38: Iam back after a long break . What a couple of years I had . After what had happened I lost my brother and had to bury him and then I had caught that type A flue and I was a very sick puppy I also needed blood for the loss of it .
Jul 7, 2018 13:30:41 GMT -6
lois: Very Happy to see you Ron. Missed you. Glad you are doing better now. Sorry for your lost. I did not know your brother had passed. hugs lois
Jul 10, 2018 0:52:45 GMT -6
paulette: Ron - hope you've hit a quiet spot. Sorry for your loss.
Aug 3, 2018 10:49:30 GMT -6
lois: I picked up my phone a few days ago and I looked at the name of the caller. Boy was I surprise. It has been a couple of years. So good to hear your voice Ron. Hope you make it a habit again. love and hugs .
Aug 15, 2018 23:21:38 GMT -6
leia77: Spotless, I am glad that you are feeling better and welcome back! I too am back from a long time away...
Aug 31, 2018 2:08:32 GMT -6
jcurio: I am much relieved to see that you have been on here, Spotless! I hope that things are going much better for you now
Sept 19, 2018 16:46:42 GMT -6
jcurio: And Lois, And Lorelei!
Sept 19, 2018 16:47:07 GMT -6
casper: And Meeeeeee!!
Oct 16, 2018 18:41:31 GMT -6
lois: Sorry guys I cannot see the print. On is tiny hand computer
Oct 21, 2018 20:42:09 GMT -6
lois: Casper your page stops at page five in 2016
Nov 15, 2018 23:54:01 GMT -6
lois: How did your Halloween night go this year?
Nov 15, 2018 23:54:58 GMT -6
skywalker: He posted on the Halloween thread this year.
Nov 25, 2018 18:33:36 GMT -6
lois: Oh ok Sky I will check it out. Thanks.
Dec 21, 2018 21:45:31 GMT -6
lois: What topic was it under.
Dec 21, 2018 21:51:07 GMT -6