Space Hubble Telescope News

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Hubble Observes the Moons and Rings of the Planet Uranus



This Hubble telescope snapshot of the planet Uranus reveals the planet's rings, at least five of the inner moons, and bright clouds in the Southern Hemisphere. Hubble allows astronomers to revisit the planet at a level of detail not possible since the Voyager 2 spacecraft flew by the planet briefly, nearly a decade ago.

This picture is a combination of images showing the motion of the inner moons. Each inner moon appears as a string of three dots. Thanks to Hubble's capabilities, astronomers will be able to precisely determine the moons' orbits.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Hubble Identifies Primeval Galaxies, Uncovers New Clues to the Universe's Evolution



Astronomers using the Hubble telescope as a "time machine" have obtained the clearest views yet of distant galaxies that existed when the universe was a fraction of its current age.

A series of remarkable pictures, spanning the life history of the cosmos, are providing the first clues to the life history of galaxies. The Hubble results suggest that elliptical galaxies developed remarkably quickly into their present shapes. However, spiral galaxies that existed in large clusters evolved over a much longer period - the majority being built and then torn apart by dynamic processes in a restless universe. These pictures of faraway galaxies, located 5 to 10 billion light-years from Earth, illustrate the findings.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Asteroid or Mini-Planet? Hubble Maps the Ancient Surface of Vesta



Hubble telescope images of the asteroid Vesta are providing astronomers with a glimpse of the oldest terrain ever seen in the solar system and a peek into a broken-off section of the "mini-planet," which exposes its interior.

Hubble's pictures provide the best view yet of Vesta's complex surface, which has geologic features similar to those of terrestrial worlds such as Earth or Mars. The asteroid's ancient surface, battered by collisions eons ago, allows astronomers to peer below the asteroid's crust and into its past. These images trace the asteroid through a full rotation.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Hubble Discovers New Dark Spot on Neptune



The distant, blue-green planet Neptune has again surprised astronomers with the emergence of a new great dark spot in the cloudy planet's Northern Hemisphere, discovered by the Hubble telescope.

Only last June, Hubble images revealed that a great dark spot in the Southern Hemisphere discovered by the Voyager 2 spacecraft during its 1989 flyby had mysteriously disappeared. The new dark spot is a near mirror image of the one found in the Southern Hemisphere. Bright, high-altitude clouds accompany the new northern dark spot. Atmospheric gases that flow up over the spot cool to form the methane-ice crystal clouds. The new spot might be a hole in Neptune's methane cloud tops, giving astronomers a peek at lower levels of the atmosphere.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Hubble Views Saturn Ring-Plane Crossing



This sequence of images from the Hubble telescope documents a rare astronomical alignment: Saturn's magnificent ring system turned edge-on. This event occurs when the Earth passes through Saturn's ring plane, as it does about every 15 years.

In these pictures, Hubble can see details on Saturn as small as 450 miles (725 kilometers) across. In each image the dark band across Saturn is the ring shadow cast by the Sun, which is still slightly above the planet's ring plane. The bright dots to the left of Saturn and in the boxes to the right are some of the planet's moons. The boxes around the western portion of the rings [on the right] indicate the area in which the faint light from the rings has been enhanced through image processing to make the rings more visible.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Hubble Observes the Fire and Fury of a Stellar Birth



The Hubble telescope has provided a detailed look at the fitful, eruptive, and dynamic processes accompanying the final stages of a star's "construction."

These three images provide a dramatically clear look at collapsing circumstellar disks of dust and gas that build stars and provide the ingredients for a planetary system. The pictures also show blowtorch-like jets of hot gas funneled from deep within several embryonic systems and machine gun-like bursts of material fired from the stars at speeds of a half-million mph. The Hubble observations shed new light on one of modern astronomy's central questions: How do tenuous clouds of interstellar gas and dust make stars like our Sun?

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Hubble Identifies a Long-Sought Population of Comets Beyond Neptune



The Hubble telescope has detected a long-sought population of comets dwelling at the icy fringe of the solar system. The observation, which is the astronomical equivalent to finding the proverbial needle-in-a-haystack, bolsters proof for a primordial comet reservoir just beyond Neptune. The circles pinpoint one of the candidate Kuiper belt objects. The dotted lines represent a possible orbit that this Kuiper belt comet is following.

Based on the Hubble observations, a team of astronomers estimate that the belt contains at least 200 million comets, which have remained essentially unchanged since the birth of the solar system 4.5 billion years ago.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Hubble Discovers New Moons Orbiting Saturn



Astronomers have announced the discovery of at least two, and possibly as many as four, new moons orbiting the giant planet Saturn. This discovery was based upon Hubble telescope images that were taken when Saturn's rings were tilted edge-on to Earth.

Two of the satellites seen by Hubble are in orbits similar to those of Atlas and Prometheus, a pair of moons discovered in 1980 by the Voyager 1 spacecraft. Additional Hubble observations of Saturn will provide more images that can be used to determine whether two of the four satellites detected by Hubble are truly new or not. This four-picture sequence shows one of the new moons discovered by Hubble. Saturn appears as a bright white disk at far right, and the edge-on rings extend diagonally to the upper left.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Hubble Uncovers Surprisingly Complex Structures in Radio Galaxies



Probing some of the most distant and energetic galaxies in the universe, the Hubble telescope has uncovered surprisingly varied and intricate structures of stars and gas, suggesting that the processes powering these so-called radio galaxies are more complex than previously thought.

The radio galaxies observed are far across the cosmos, existing when the universe was half its present age. Light from these galaxies is just now reaching Earth. The Hubble observations should shed light on galaxy evolution and on the nature of active galaxies, which may be powered by immense black holes at their cores. These Hubble images, combined with radio maps produced by the Very Large Array Radio Interferometer [blue contour lines], show surprisingly varied and intricate structures of gas and stars.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Hubble Again Views Saturn's Rings Edge-On



Saturn's magnificent ring system is seen tilted edge-on - for the second time in 1995 - in this Hubble telescope picture taken Aug. 10, when the planet was 895 million miles (1,440 million kilometers) away from Earth. Hubble snapped the image as Earth sped back across Saturn's ring plane to the sunlit side of the rings.

Several of Saturn's icy moons are visible as tiny star-like objects in or near the ring plane. On May 22, 1995 Earth dipped below the ring plane, giving observers a brief look at the backlit side of the rings. Ring-plane crossing events occur approximately every 15 years. Earthbound observers won't have as good a view until the year 2038.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Hubble Space Telescope Finds Stellar Graveyard



Peering deep into the globular star cluster M4 with the Hubble telescope, Canadian and American astronomers have discovered a large number of "stellar corpses," called white dwarf stars, which may be used eventually to refine age estimates of the universe.

The observation was so sensitive that even the brightest of the detected white dwarfs was no more luminous than a 100-watt light bulb seen at the moon's distance (239,000 miles). A Hubble color image of a small portion of the cluster reveals eight white dwarf stars [inside the white circles] among the cluster's much brighter population of yellow, Sun-like stars and cooler red dwarf stars. Hubble reveals a total of 75 white dwarfs in one small area within M4 out of a total of about 40,000 white dwarfs that the cluster is predicted to contain. The picture on the left is a view of the cluster taken by a ground-based telescope.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Hubble Maps the Asteroid Vesta



These two surface maps of the asteroid Vesta are derived from Hubble telescope images taken between November 28 and December 1, 1994. The pictures show surface details as small as 35 miles across. Vesta is 320 miles in diameter, and the map covers the asteroid's entire surface area, about 200,000 miles.

The top panel indicates sharp contrasts in Vesta's surface color. The surface markings may represent ancient volcanic activity such as lava flows and, in addition, regions where major collisions have stripped away the surface. The bottom panel reveals that Vesta's surface is made up of igneous rock, indicating that either the entire surface was once melted or lava flowing from its interior once completely covered its surface.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Embryonic Stars Emerge from Interstellar "Eggs"



Eerie, dramatic pictures from the Hubble telescope show newborn stars emerging from "eggs" – not the barnyard variety – but rather, dense, compact pockets of interstellar gas called evaporating gaseous globules (EGGs). Hubble found the "EGGs," appropriately enough, in the Eagle nebula, a nearby star-forming region 7,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Serpens.

These striking pictures resolve the EGGs at the tip of finger-like features protruding from monstrous columns of cold gas and dust in the Eagle Nebula (also called M16). The columns – dubbed "elephant trunks" – protrude from the wall of a vast cloud of molecular hydrogen, like stalagmites rising above the floor of a cavern. Inside the gaseous towers, which are light-years long, the interstellar gas is dense enough to collapse under its own weight, forming young stars that continue to grow as they accumulate more and more mass from their surroundings.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
HST's Greatest Hits 1990-1995



Hubble Space Telescope evokes a new sense of awe and wonder about the infinite richness of our universe in dramatic, unprecedented pictures of celestial objects. Like a traveler sharing their best snapshots, we present a selection of Hubble's most spectacular images (1990-1995).

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Hubble's Deepest View of the Universe Unveils Bewildering Galaxies across Billions of Years



One peek into a small part of the sky, one giant leap back in time. The Hubble telescope has provided mankind's deepest, most detailed visible view of the universe.

Representing a narrow "keyhole" view stretching to the visible horizon of the universe, the Hubble Deep Field image covers a speck of the sky only about the width of a dime 75 feet away. Though the field is a very small sample of the heavens, it is considered representative of the typical distribution of galaxies in space, because the universe, statistically, looks largely the same in all directions. Gazing into this small field, Hubble uncovered a bewildering assortment of at least 1,500galaxies at various stages of evolution.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Hubble Finds an Hourglass Nebula around a Dying Star



This Hubble telescope snapshot of MyCn18, a young planetary nebula, reveals that the object has an hourglass shape with an intricate pattern of "etchings" in its walls. A planetary nebula is the glowing relic of a dying, Sun-like star.

The results are of great interest because they shed new light on the poorly understood ejection of stellar matter that accompanies the slow death of Sun-like stars. According to one theory on the formation of planetary nebulae, the hourglass shape is produced by the expansion of a fast stellar wind within a slowly expanding cloud, which is denser near its equator than near its poles.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Hubble Telescope Photo Reveals Stellar Death Process



This Hubble telescope picture of planetary nebula NGC 7027 reveals remarkable new details of the process by which a star like the Sun dies. The nebula is a glowing record of the star's final death throes.

New features include faint, blue, concentric shells surrounding the nebula; an extensive network of red dust clouds throughout the bright inner region; and the hot, central white dwarf, visible as a white dot at the center.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Disk around Star May Be Warped by Unseen Planet



The Hubble telescope has provided strong evidence for the existence of a roughly Jupiter-sized planet orbiting the star Beta Pictoris.

Detailed Hubble snapshots of the inner region of the 200-billion-mile-wide dust disk encircling the star reveal an unexpected warp. Researchers say the warp can be best explained as caused by the tug of an unseen planet. This is a visible-light image of the disk, which looks like a spindle because it is tilted nearly edge-on to our view. The bright star, which lies at the center of the disk, is blocked out in this image.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Hubble Reveals Surface of Pluto for First Time



For the first time since Pluto's discovery 66 years ago, astronomers have at last directly seen details on the surface of the solar system's farthest known planet.

The Hubble telescope's snapshots of nearly the entire surface of Pluto, taken as the planet rotated through a 6.4-day period, show that Pluto is a complex object, with more large-scale contrast than any planet, except Earth. Topographic features such as basins, or fresh impact craters may cause some of the variations across Pluto's surface.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Swirling Galaxy Parents Generations of Stars in Its Center



The Hubble telescope has snapped a view of several generations of stars in the central region of the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51), located 23 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Canes Venatici (the Hunting Dogs).

The spiral galaxy's massive center, the bright ball of light in the center of the photograph, is about 80 light-years across and has a brightness of about 100 million suns. Astronomers estimate that it is about 400 million years old and has a mass 40 million times larger than our Sun. The concentration of stars is about 5,000 times higher than in our solar neighborhood, the Milky Way Galaxy.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 
Top Bottom