Space Hubble Telescope News

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Giant Webb Space Telescope Model to "Land" in Baltimore



Baltimore's Maryland Science Center is going to be the "landing site" for the full-scale model of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, and it's free for all to see. The Webb telescope life-sized model is as big as a tennis court, and it's coming to the Maryland Science Center at Baltimore's Inner Harbor from October 14 through 26, 2011. It's a chance for young and old to get a close-up look at the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope in the same size it will be launched into space. Experts will be on hand to discuss the Webb telescope's deep-space mission, how it will observe distant galaxies and nearby stars and planets, and the progress made to date in building the observatory. Spokespeople will also be available starting at 10 a.m. EDT and throughout the model exhibition. There will also be educational activities and an "Ask the Scientist" booth in front of the model during the daytime. Accompanying the display in the evening is a laser-art lightshow that converts Hubble data into brilliant green graphics that are projected onto the side of the Science Center. The display also accompanies the annual meeting of the Association of Science-Technology Centers that will be held in Baltimore October 15-18. The Maryland Science Center is located at 601 Light Street, Baltimore, Md. 21230. For directions and more information, call the center at 410-685-5225.

This photo composite is a depiction of the Webb full-scale model at the Maryland Science Center.
For a sped-up video of the construction of the Webb full-scale model, visit:
GMS: JWST Full Scale Model Construction in Battery Park, NY
View on You Tube:
For more information about the Webb Telescope, visit:
NASA - Giant-Sized Webb Space Telescope Model to 'Land' in Baltimore

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Ambitious Hubble Survey Obtaining New Dark Matter Census



Cluster MACS J1206.2-0847 (or MACS 1206 for short) is one of the first targets in a Hubble Space Telescope survey that will allow astronomers to construct the highly detailed dark matter maps of more galaxy clusters than ever before. These maps are being used to test previous but surprising results that suggest that dark matter is more densely packed inside galaxy clusters than some models predict. This might mean that galaxy cluster assembly began earlier than commonly thought. The multiwavelength survey, called the Cluster Lensing And Supernova survey with Hubble (CLASH), probes, with unparalleled precision, the distribution of dark matter in 25 massive clusters of galaxies. So far, the CLASH team has completed observations of six of the 25 clusters. MACS 1206 lies 4.5 billion light-years from Earth. This image was taken with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys and the Wide Field Camera 3 in April 2011 through July 2011.

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Was the Real Discovery of the Expanding Universe Lost in Translation?



Writing in the Nov. 10 issue of the journal Nature, Space Telescope Science Institute astrophysicist Mario Livio solves the mystery of why paragraphs disappeared during the 1931 translation of Belgian cosmologist Georges Lemaître's remarkable 1927 paper showing that the universe is expanding. For nearly a century, American astronomer Edwin Hubble has held the fame for this landmark discovery, which would recast all of 20th century astronomy. After going through hundreds of pieces of correspondence of the Royal Astronomical Society, as well as minutes of the RAS meetings, and material from the Lemaître Archive, Livio has discovered that Lemaître omitted the passages himself when he translated the paper into English!

This illustration shows Edwin Hubble (1889-1953) on the right and Georges Lemaître (1894-1966) on the left. The telescope on the left is the 100-inch Hooker Telescope on Mt. Wilson in California. The Hubble Space Telescope is on the right.

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NASA's Hubble Finds Stellar Life and Death in a Globular Cluster



A new NASA Hubble Space Telescope image shows globular cluster NGC 1846, a spherical collection of hundreds of thousands of stars in the outer halo of the Large Magellanic Cloud, a neighboring dwarf galaxy of the Milky Way that can be seen from the southern hemisphere. The most intriguing object, however, doesn't seem to belong in the cluster. It is a faint green bubble in the white box near the bottom center of the image. This so-called "planetary nebula" is the aftermath of the death of a star.

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Space Telescope Science Institute Announces the 2011 Hubble Fellows



The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) announces today the selection of 17 new candidates for the Hubble Fellowship Program. This is one of the three prestigious postdoctoral fellowship programs funded by NASA. The other programs are the Sagan and the Einstein Fellowships. STScI administers the Hubble Fellowship Program for NASA.

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NASA's Hubble Discovers Another Moon Around Pluto



These two images, taken about a week apart by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, show four moons orbiting the distant, icy dwarf planet Pluto. The green circle in both snapshots marks the newly discovered moon, temporarily dubbed P4, found by Hubble in June. P4 is the smallest moon yet found around Pluto, with an estimated diameter of 8 to 21 miles (13 to 34 km). By comparison, Pluto's largest moon Charon is 746 miles (1,200 km) across. Nix and Hydra are 20 to 70 miles (32 to 113 km) wide. The new moon lies between the orbits of Nix and Hydra, two satellites discovered by Hubble in 2005. P4 completes an orbit around Pluto roughly every 31 days.

The new moon was first seen in a photo taken with Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 on June 28, 2011. The sighting was confirmed in follow-up Hubble observations taken July 3 and July 18. P4, Nix, and Hydra are so small and so faint that scientists combined short and long exposures to create this image of Pluto and its entire moon system. The speckled background is camera "noise" produced during the long exposures. The linear features are imaging artifacts. The Hubble observations will help NASA's New Horizons mission, scheduled to fly through the Pluto system in 2015. Space Telescope Science Institute director's discretionary time was allocated to make the Hubble observations.

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Fast Falling Clouds Fuel Milky Way Star Formation



The long-term forecast for the Milky Way is cloudy with gaseous rain. A study by Nicolas Lehner and Christopher Howk of the University of

Notre Dame concludes that massive clouds of ionized gas are raining down

from our galaxy's halo and intergalactic space and will continue

to provide fuel for the Milky Way to keep forming stars. Using the Hubble Space Telescope's Cosmic Origins Spectrograph they measured for the first time the distances to huge, fast-moving clouds of ionized gas previously seen covering a large fraction of the sky.

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Even Low-Mass Galaxies Can Harbor Supermassive Black Holes



Using the slitless grism on Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Camera 3 to probe the distant universe, astronomers have found supermassive black holes growing in surprisingly small galaxies. The findings suggest that central black holes formed at an earlier stage in galaxy evolution. This study is part of the Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey (CANDELS) and will be published in the Astrophysical Journal.

For more information, visit the University of California, Santa Cruz, Press Release at Small distant galaxies host supermassive black holes

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Astronomers Find Elusive Planets in Decade-Old Hubble Data



In a painstaking re-analysis of Hubble Space Telescope images from 1998, astronomers have found visual evidence for two extrasolar planets that went undetected back then.

Finding these hidden gems in the Hubble archive gives astronomers an invaluable time machine for comparing much earlier planet orbital motion data to more recent observations. It also demonstrates a novel approach for planet hunting in archival Hubble data.

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Astronomers Pin Down Galaxy Collision Rate



A new analysis of Hubble surveys, including the All-Wavelength Extended Groth Strip International Survey (AEGIS), the Cosmological Evolution Survey (COSMOS), and the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey (GOODS), combined with simulations of galaxy interactions, reveals that the merger rate of galaxies over the last 8 billion to 9 billion years falls between previous estimates.

The galaxy merger rate is one of the fundamental measures of galaxy evolution, yielding clues to how galaxies bulked up over time through encounters with other galaxies. And yet, a huge discrepancy exists over how often galaxies coalesced in the past. Earlier measurements of galaxies in deep-field surveys made by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope generated a broad range of results: anywhere from 5 percent to 25 percent of the galaxies were merging. Results from this new study are accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal.

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Hubble Uncovers Tiny Galaxies Bursting with Star Birth in Early Universe



Using its near-infrared vision to peer 9 billion years back in time, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered an extraordinary population of tiny, young galaxies that are brimming with star formation. The galaxies are typically a hundred times less massive than the Milky Way galaxy, yet they churn out stars at such a furious pace that their stellar content would double in just 10 million years. By comparison, the Milky Way would take a thousand times longer to double its population.

The observations were part of the Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey (CANDELS), an ambitious three-year survey to analyze the most distant galaxies in the universe. CANDELS is the census of dwarf galaxies at such an early epoch in the universe's history.

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Triangulum Galaxy Shows Stunning Face in Detailed Hubble Portrait



NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has produced this stunningly detailed portrait of the Triangulum galaxy (M33), displaying a full spiral face aglow with the light of nearly 25 million individually resolved stars. It is the largest high-resolution mosaic image of Triangulum ever assembled, composed of 54 Hubble fields of view spanning an area more than 19,000 light-years across.

The Local Group of galaxies is dominated by the Milky Way, Andromeda, and Triangulum. As the junior member of this trio of spiral galaxies, Triangulum provides the valuable comparisons and contrasts that only a close companion can. Most notably, Triangulum's star formation is 10 times more intense than in the comparable Hubble panorama of the neighboring Andromeda galaxy. Astronomers have only begun to mine the enormous amount of data generated by these new Hubble observations, and expect they will yield important insights into the effects of such vigorous star formation.

The orderly nature of Triangulum's spiral, with dust distributed throughout, is another distinctive feature. 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.

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Wide Field Camera 3 Anomaly on Hubble Space Telescope



The Wide Field Camera 3 on the Hubble Space Telescope suspended operations on January 8 due to a hardware problem. Hubble will continue to perform science observations with its other three active instruments, while the Wide Field Camera 3 anomaly is investigated. Wide Field Camera 3, installed during Servicing Mission 4 in 2009, is equipped with redundant electronics should they be needed to recover the instrument.

For more information about Hubble and further updates about the Wide Field Camera 3 anomaly, visit Wide Field Camera 3 Anomaly on Hubble Space Telescope.

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Wide Field Camera 3 Anomaly on Hubble Space Telescope Update



NASA continues to work toward recovering the Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 instrument, which suspended operations on Tuesday, January 8. A team of instrument system engineers, Wide Field Camera 3 instrument developers, and other experts formed and quickly began collecting all available telemetry and onboard memory information to determine the sequence of events that caused the values to go out of limits. This team is currently working to identify the root cause and then to construct a recovery plan. If a significant hardware failure is identified, redundant electronics built into the instrument will be used to recover and return it to operations.

For more information on Hubble and further updates about the Wide Field Camera 3 anomaly, visit Wide Field Camera 3 Anomaly on Hubble Space Telescope

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The Universe "Down Under" is the Latest Target for Hubble's Latest Deep-View

Turning its penetrating vision toward southern skies, the Hubble telescope has peered down a 12- billion-light-year-long corridor loaded with a dazzling assortment of thousands of never-before-seen galaxies. The observation, called the Hubble Deep Field South, doubles the number of far-flung galaxies available to astronomers for deciphering the history of the universe.

This new far-look complements the original Hubble "deep field" taken in late 1995, when Hubble was aimed at a small patch of space near the Big Dipper. Hubble's sharp vision allows astronomers to sort galaxy shapes. The image is dominated by beautiful pinwheel-shaped disk galaxies, which are like our Milky Way.

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Hubble Fellowship Program Selects Talented Young Astronomers for Studying Hubble Space Telescope Discoveries



The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) has selected 12 new scientists for the Hubble Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. The awardees were selected from a pool of 115 highly-qualified candidates from 24 countries.

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Massive Black Holes Dwell in Most Galaxies, According to Hubble Census



Announcing the discovery of three black holes in three normal galaxies, astronomers suggest that nearly all galaxies may harbor super-massive black holes that once powered quasars (extremely luminous objects in the centers of galaxies), but are now quiescent.

This conclusion is based on a census of 27 nearby galaxies carried out by the Hubble telescope and ground-based observatories in Hawaii. The three galaxies in these images are believed to contain central, super-massive black holes. The galaxy NGC 4486B [lower left] shows a double nucleus [lower right]. The picture at lower right is a close-up of the central region of NGC 4486B.

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Robby

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The Universe "Down Under" is the Latest Target for Hubble's Latest Deep-View

Turning its penetrating vision toward southern skies, the Hubble telescope has peered down a 12- billion-light-year-long corridor loaded with a dazzling assortment of thousands of never-before-seen galaxies. The observation, called the Hubble Deep Field South, doubles the number of far-flung galaxies available to astronomers for deciphering the history of the universe.

This new far-look complements the original Hubble "deep field" taken in late 1995, when Hubble was aimed at a small patch of space near the Big Dipper. Hubble's sharp vision allows astronomers to sort galaxy shapes. The image is dominated by beautiful pinwheel-shaped disk galaxies, which are like our Milky Way.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

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Hubble IMAX Film Takes Viewers on Ride Through Space and Time

Take a virtual ride to the outer reaches of the universe and explore 10 billion years of galactic history, from fully formed and majestic spiral galaxies to disheveled collections of stars just beginning to form.

This unforgettable cosmic journey is presented in the award-winning IMAX short film, "Hubble: Galaxies Across Space and Time," which transforms images and data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope into a voyage that sweeps viewers across the cosmos. Using the 650-megapixel-mosaic image created by the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey (GOODS), more than 11,000 galaxy images were extracted and assembled into an accurate 3-D model for the three-minute movie. The large-format film was created by a team of Hubble image and visualization experts in the Office of Public Outreach at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Md. The film was directed by Frank Summers, an astrophysicist and science visualization specialist.

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Hubble Makes Movie of Neptune's Dynamic Atmosphere

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captures the distant blue-green world, Neptune, and its satellites in this portrait. Astronomers used Hubble's assortment of filters to pinpoint high altitude clouds floating above the methane rich atmosphere. The images have been assembled into a time-lapse movie revealing the orbital motion of the satellites. The icy moons seen in this view are Proteus (the brightest), Larissa, Despina, and Galatea. Neptune had 13 moons at last count. In Roman mythology, Larsissa and Despina were Neptunes's daughters.

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