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Category Archives: Hubble Telescope

Hubble telescope sees a space ‘snowman’ thousands of light-years away – Space.com

Posted: November 25, 2021 at 12:38 pm

A new release from the Hubble telescope's vast archive shares an incredible space "snowman" filled with glowing gas.

The image shows the Snowman Nebula, which is a cloud of gas and dust in deep space. The Hubble Space Telescope's sharp eyes picked up the object from a distance of 6,000 light-years away, and rendered the image in a time exposure since the glow of the gas is very faint.

"Emission nebulas are diffuse clouds of gas that have become so charged by the energy of nearby massive stars that they glow with their own light," NASA said in a statement about the new image.

Related: The best Hubble Space Telescope images of all time!

"The radiation from these massive stars strips electrons from the nebula's hydrogen atoms in a process called ionization," the statement continues. "As the energized electrons revert from their higher-energy state to a lower-energy state, they emit energy in the form of light, causing the nebula's gas to glow."

The famed telescope picked up this new image during a survey of massive- and intermediate-size "protostars," or newly forming stars. Hubble used its Wide Field Camera 3 instrument "to look for hydrogen ionized by ultraviolet light from the protostars, jets from the stars, and other features," NASA officials wrote.

Hubble isn't quite working at its best. In late October, a synchronization error with its internal communications forced all five of its science instruments offline.

The team recovered the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) on Nov. 7, and the same Wide Field Camera 3 responsible for this image on Nov. 21. WFC3 is the most heavily used of Hubble's instruments.

The observatory's other three instruments remain in a protective "safe mode" as ground engineers continue to carefully troubleshoot issues on the 31-year-old observatory. The Hubble team will next address an instrument called the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph, which can observe far-ultraviolet light.

Although astronauts on five different missions visited Hubble to repair and upgrade the observatory, no additional visits are planned; servicing missions relied on NASA's space shuttle program, which ended in 2011.

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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Two new galaxies discovered 29 billion light-years away out of 20% dust-hidden ones – Republic World

Posted: at 12:38 pm

Astronomers from the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen have discovered two galaxies that were previously hidden behinddense space dust. Dubbed REBELS-12-2 and REBELS-29-2, the galaxies are located 29 billion light-years away and their existence came to light as the ALMA radio telescopes in Chile's Atacama Desert pierced through the thick cosmic dust. Reportedly, it was because of this shroud of dust that both the galaxies escaped the eyes of the Hubble Space Telescope.

The team of astronomers that spotted the two galaxies suggest that nearly 20% of galaxies in our universe are still hidden due to the heavy presence of dust in space. According to Pascal Oesch, associate professor of the Niels Bohr Institute, the astronomers already knew about the existence of these two galaxies through the Hubble Telescope. Detailing about the discovery, Oesch said as per Daily Mail.

We noticed that two of them had a neighbour that we didn't expect to be there at all. As both of these neighboring galaxies are surrounded by dust, some of their light is blocked, making them invisible to Hubble.

Thanks to the ALMA telescope, it was able to locate the two galaxies when Hubble failed to do so. The team says that the light from the two galaxies reached earth after travelling for nearly 13 billion years, and this light was captured by ALMA. The telescope, which is capable of trapping radio waves emerging from the deepest areas of the universe, creates high-resolution images by combining the light received by 66 of its antennas.

Oesch further says that one in every five galaxies in the universe are obscured from our view and the experts are counting on the James Webb Space Telescope, which is scheduled for launch next month, to unveil these hidden galaxies. Daily Mail reported him further saying, The next step is to identify the galaxies we overlooked, because there are far more than we thought. Thats where the James Webb Telescope will be a huge step forward. He added that the Webb Telescope will be able to uncover the hidden galaxies without much effort as it is much more sensitive in detecting longer wavelengths than any other telescope ever made.

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Two new galaxies discovered 29 billion light-years away out of 20% dust-hidden ones - Republic World

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The Hubble Telescope Checks In With the Most Distant Planets – The New York Times

Posted: November 23, 2021 at 4:49 pm

Typically these storms appear in the mid-latitudes and drift to the planets equator, where they weaken and then disintegrate. In 2018, Hubble spotted a massive dark spot drifting southward toward the equatorial killing zone, in Neptunes northern hemisphere.

Two years later, however, to the astonishment of astronomers and computer simulations, the storm had reversed course and was heading back north. Moreover, the reversal had coincided with the appearance of a new, slightly smaller storm called Dark Spot Jr. to the south perhaps a piece of the larger vortex that had split off, taking away energy and momentum as in some cosmic billiards game.

It was really exciting to see this one act like its supposed to act and then all of a sudden it just stops and swings back, said Michael Wong, a research scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, in a news release from NASA last year. That was surprising.

In the most recent Neptune portrait, the large dark spot is still there in the north. But Junior has vanished, and the entire north pole region is dark. The Neptune weather forecasters still dont know why.

Savor these cosmic postcards while you can. The Hubble Space Telescope has been up there for more than 30 years, long past its planned service life, and it has been having more frequent troubles lately. Three times this year, the telescope endured extended shutdowns because of software problems.

But there is potentially good news coming with the scheduled launch of the James Webb Space Telescope in December. The Webb telescope is almost three times bigger than Hubble. It is designed to see infrared or heat radiation rather than visible wavelengths, and thus can see through the clouds and hazes of these planets and map the heat below, shedding light, so to speak, on how these planets work. For a while anyway, if all goes well and things have not always gone well astronomers could have two complementary ways of understanding what is going on out there.

And thats the weather report from the outer planets. Its windy out there, and dont forget to wear your strongest sunblock on Uranus.

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How long will the Hubble Space Telescope work? – The Times Hub

Posted: at 4:49 pm

Hubble Telescope, photographed from the Shuttle Discovery/NASA/Flickr Johnson

The Hubble Space Observatory has repeatedly justified its investment. For more than 30 years, the telescope has served science by helping humanity explore space. But the device is getting old and starts to work worse and worse.

Immediately after launch, the Hubble was found to be malfunctioning. But they managed to fix them thanks to the shuttle flights, thanks to which it was later even possible to modernize the space observatory. Shuttles no longer fly, so operators on Earth are doing the repairs. Fortunately, so far there have not been critical accidents that people on Earth could not cope with. Soon Hubble's successor, the next-generation James Webb telescope, will go into space, so the question arises: how much longer Hubble will operate.

Photos of the Hubble telescope taken during the STS-103 mission/Photo NASA Flickr Johnson

James Webb has not yet been launched and it will take more than a month before it is fully operational But even after that, Hubble will not be abandoned experts are likely planning to completely exhaust the giant resource of the legendary spacecraft.

NASA reports that the scientific mission of the space observatory has been extended until June 30, 2026. An additional $ 215 million is planned for this. The continuation of the mission takes place against the backdrop of problems with the Hubble equipment. But given the continued funding, it can be concluded that the problems are not critical and must be quickly resolved in order for the telescope to continue working.

The Hubble Space Telescope was launched into space on April 24, 1990 thanks to the Discovery shuttle.

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How long will the Hubble Space Telescope work? - The Times Hub

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Hubble imaged a ‘superbubble’ floating in space – Popular Science

Posted: November 7, 2021 at 12:15 pm

The Hubble Telescope, which launched more than 30 years ago in 1990, just imaged a curious massive bubble in a nebula 170,000 light years away from Earth. The bubble sits in nebula N44, a seriously elaborate 1,000 light year wide nebula filled with stars of all ages and size, clouds of hydrogen gas, and at the center, this massive bubble.

The superbubble, as NASA calls it, is 250 light years wide, and scientists are not quite sure exactly why it exists. The dark expanse dotted with stars inside this nebula is a bit of a mystery, although at least one theory for this gaping center exists. One posits that massive stars inside the bubble produce stellar winds that may have blown surrounding gas away, creating the blob. Not everything about this theory quite makes sense, though, because the wind velocities measured within the bubble dont seem strong enough to do this.

Another, more compelling theory states that the bubble was likely created in multiple chain reaction star forming events, as the stars within it have massive age gaps compared to those on the rim of the bubble. The nebula glows from the cooling of the ionized gas that fills it, dropping from a high energy state to a low energy state. Regardless of its origins, the bubble is as entrancing as ever.

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Hubble imaged a 'superbubble' floating in space - Popular Science

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Hubble telescope spots doomed star that is the ‘Rosetta stone’ of supernovas – Space.com

Posted: October 28, 2021 at 9:11 am

A new supernova captured by the Hubble Space Telescope may act as a decoder for other star explosions.

Given that the telescope caught the star so early in its "cataclysmic demise," as NASA called it, astronomers say the research may eventually help them formulate an early warning system for other stars that might be about to explode.

Scientists are dubbing the event, known as SN 2020fqv, as the "Rosetta Stone of supernovas." That's a reference to the Rosetta Stone, which has the same text written in three different scripts, allowing historians to read Egyptian hieroglyphs. (The stone was inscribed in ancient Greek, which was well-known to scholars, as well as two forms of Egyptian script, which were then poorly understood.)

The actual stone, dating from about 2,200 years ago, was found by accident in 1799 by soldiers in Napoleon's army campaigning in Egypt; you can see it today in the British Museum in London. Investigators for the Hubble discovery admitted the term "Rosetta Stone" is used often as a metaphor for deciphering information, but noted the term is an apt description for the importance of this new cosmic work.

Related: The best Hubble Space Telescope images of all time!

"This is the first time we've been able to verify the mass with these three different methods for one supernova, and all of them are consistent," lead author Samaporn Tinyanont, a graduate student in astronomy at California Institute of Technology, said in a NASA statement.

"Now we can push forward using these different methods and combining them, because there are a lot of other supernovaswhere we have masses from one method but not another."

SN 2020fqv was found amid the Butterfly galaxies, a pair of spiral galaxies located roughly 60 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation Virgo. The supernova was first discovered in April 2020 by the Zwicky Transient Facility at the Palomar Observatory in San Diego, California.

Coincidentally, the supernova was also in the view of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), whose primary mission is to search for relatively nearby planets outside of our solar system. Soon, Hubble and several ground-based telescopes joined the multinational observatory star party.

Hubble's sharp eyes allowed the observatory to look at the material close by the star, known as circumstellar material, only a few hours after the explosion occurred. Because the material clung onto the star until the last year of its life, astronomers say studying this stuff allows further research into what the star was doing before it died.

"We rarely get to examine this very close-in circumstellar material since it is only visible for a very short time, and we usually don't start observing a supernova until at least a few days after the explosion," Tinyanont said. "For this supernova, we were able to make ultra-rapid observations with Hubble, giving unprecedented coverage of the region right next to the star that exploded."

Helpfully, Hubble also has an archive of observations of this star dating to the 1990s. Astronomers probed the image series and added TESS observations of the system every 30 minutes in the days before the explosion, as well as during the explosion itself and for a few more weeks (before, we assume, the standard schedule of TESS shifted the telescope to gaze at another spot in the sky.)

Scientists then calculated the mass of the exploding star using three different methods: comparing observations with theoretical models, using information from a 1997 archival image of Hubble (this was to rule out higher-mass stars in the model), and measuring the amount of oxygen in the supernova, which is a proxy for mass. All three methods produced consistent results, with an estimate of 14 to 15 times the mass of our own sun.

One of the more famous unstable stars is Betelgeuse, a red supergiant that is late in its life and put up some antics in the last year or so. Co-author Ryan Foley, an astrophysicist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, said he doesn't believe Betelgeuse itself is about to explode, but added that SN 2020fqv will help in building our database of stars to watch.

"This could be a warning system," Foley said of the explosion behavior Hubble and other observatories noted. "So if you see a star start to shake around a bit, start acting up, then maybe we should pay more attention and really try to understand what's going on there before it explodes. As we find more and more of these supernovaewith this sort of excellent data set, we'll be able to understand better what's happening in the last few years of a star's life."

A paper based on the research was published Thursday (Oct. 21) in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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Hubble telescope spots a pair of ‘squabbling’ galaxies locked in cosmic dance – Space.com

Posted: October 24, 2021 at 11:05 am

The Hubble Space Telescope caught a pair of "squabbling" galaxies in action, according to the European Space Agency.

The pair of objects is known as Arp 86 and includes two galaxies roughly 220 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation Pegasus. They are known individually as NGC 7753 and the much smaller companion NGC 7752.

"The diminutive companion galaxy almost appears attached to NGC 7753, and it is this peculiarity that has earned the designation 'Arp 86' signifying that the galaxy pair appears in the Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies compiled by the astronomer Halton Arp in 1966," ESA officials wrote in a statement about the new research.

"The gravitational dance between the two galaxies will eventually result in NGC 7752 being tossed out into intergalactic space or entirely engulfed by its much larger neighbor," the added.

Related: The best Hubble Space Telescope images of all time!

The Hubble Space Telescope observations were meant to shed light on how cold gas in the area contributes to the formation of young stars observed in the image. The observatory examined star clusters, gas clouds and dust clouds in several environments in the neighborhood, including other galaxies outside of Arp 86, ESA stated.

The space telescope's work was combined with measurements from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), a set of telescopes in the Chilean Andes optimized to peer through galactic dust in young systems. Between ALMA and Hubble, the research team is seeking more information about how stars are formed.

The research will also assist with future work by the James Webb Space Telescope, which is set to launch late in 2021 to explore the origins of the universe. One of Webb's research projects will be to look at dusty galaxies (such as Arp 86) to learn more about star evolution, ESA stated.

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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How NASAs Hubble Space Telescope gave America eyes above the atmosphere – Fox Business

Posted: October 19, 2021 at 10:22 pm

This episode of American Built shows how NASA astronauts embarked on a mission and created the Hubble Telescope.

For ages, scientists, astronomers and human lifeforms alike have all begged to ask the big question: Are we alone in the Universe?

But exploring outer space from the ground didnt help with an answer until the construction of the Hubble Space Telescope took the quest above our atmosphere.

Former Lockheed Martin vice president Jim Crocker described studying the stars from the ground like studying birds from the bottom of a pond on the newest episode of FOX Business "American Built."

"By getting the telescope up above that few hundred miles of atmosphere, we can see clearly again," he said.

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In 1946, Dr. Lymann Spitzer, an astronomer and physicist at Princeton University, first pitched the idea to construct a large telescope in space but soon realized the technology to see the project through would be generations away. But after the launch of the Explorer 1 satellite in 1958, NASAs simultaneous development of the space shuttle and an in-space telescope became more of a reality.

Engineers explain how the telescope malfunctioned even after billions of dollars spent on the project on 'American Built'.

As the project developed, NASA's first chief astronomer Nancy Grace Roman, known as the "mother of Hubble," became one of the biggest advocates for launching a telescope in orbit.

In 1970, Roman pitched the concept for an in-space telescope to Congress and was able to explain its importance for space exploration. The plan would be to fit the school-bus-sized spacecraft inside the space shuttles cargo bay to then release the telescope and watch it unfurl.

The telescopes functionality included the ability to send updates back to Earth and accessibility for astronauts. The most crucial feature of the telescope was its massive mirrors which required precise engineering in order to operate a project Congress worried was a waste of government spending.

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As the cost kept rising, the operation came to a halt when the Challenger shuttle exploded upon takeoff in 1986. Hubble was forced to be stored until the end of the decade once the shuttle was ready to launch once again.

On April 24, 1990, the space shuttle Discovery rose 340 miles above the Earth and began the deployment of the Hubble Space Telescope. But as the telescope left the bounds of the shuttle, the solar arrays suddenly seized up, threatening the $4.7 billion contraption from gaining any power.

Luckily, the astronauts were able to manually complete Hubbles deployment and ten minutes later, the telescope locked onto the suns power and the crew returned safely to Earth.

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"Science has been revolutionized by Hubble with discoveries that were made of things no one even imagined until Hubble was in orbit," Crocker said. "A thousand years from now, the images from Hubble will be in the minds and memories of a world that remembers what this country did with the first great observatory in space."

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How NASAs Hubble Space Telescope gave America eyes above the atmosphere - Fox Business

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NASA and ESA tech geeks posted an ‘unboxing’ of the Hubble telescope’s successor – Mashable

Posted: October 17, 2021 at 5:22 pm

Is there anything more relatable to the tech-lovers of the internet than the thrill of tearing open the packaging on the latest, shiniest gadget? NASA and the European Space Agency get it.

On Friday, the Twitter account for Ariane 5, an ESA launch vehicle, shared a series of "unboxing" photos for the James Webb Space Telescope. For those who might not know, that's the powerful successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, which has been peering into the furthest reaches of space since 1990.

In December, Ariane 5 will carry the new space telescope into orbit where it will bring its fancier optical technology to bear on the same kinds of tasks that Hubble once handled on its own. While it's a big moment for space research, the future satellite has been dogged by controversy due to its connection to Webb, a former NASA administrator who presided over the federal agency in the '50s and '60s when gay and lesbian employees faced discrimination there.

That controversy hasn't slowed down the launch plans, or led to a name change. But the concerns some have voiced continue to loom large as the Dec. 18 launch approaches. One NASA adviser even quit over their dissatisfaction with the agency's handling of naming concerns.

These photos nonetheless offer a fascinating look behind the scenes at how a massive and wildly expensive piece of space tech like this is transported. At roughly the size of a tractor trailer, the $10 billion satellite isn't exactly the easiest thing to ship.

The James Webb Space Telescope is currently set for its one-way trip to outer space to launch on Dec. 18, 2021. Although construction was completed in 2016, the launch has been delayed multiple times, first for further testing and later as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For now, all indications are that the December launch will proceed as planned, barring any of the usual temporary weather hiccups that often disrupt space launch plans.

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NASA and ESA tech geeks posted an 'unboxing' of the Hubble telescope's successor - Mashable

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NASA shared a video of the amazing scene in space, and this post went viral on social media – The Press Stories

Posted: at 5:22 pm

The US space agency NASA frequently shares amazing pictures and videos of space on its social media account, while people love all of NASAs recordings. NASA recently shared a rare record. Hubble Telescope has released a spectacular video clip of neighboring star Andromeda on its social media site Instagram. The video is very nice to watch and many stars are seen together, which will surprise you a lot.

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In the title that comes with the post, NASA wrote that the Andromeda Galaxy is the largest galaxy in a nearby local group. The Hubble Space Telescope has captured millions of stars in a part of the Andromeda Galaxy. The video shows Hubbles view of a part of Andromeda that reveals millions of stars. Old red stars and blue stars were seen in a sky. While crediting the video, NASA wrote, NASA, ESA, J. Talcanton (University of Washington), Ph.D. Group, and R. Universal Production Music.

This video has received over 1 lakh likes since its release. People are very surprised to see this video, while many netizens can see their reactions in the video.

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