Space Hubble Telescope News

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Too Fast, Too Furious: A Galaxy's Fatal Plunge



Trailing 200,000-light-year-long streamers of seething gas, a galaxy that was once like our Milky Way is being shredded as it plunges at 4.5 million miles per hour through the heart of a distant cluster of galaxies. In this unusually violent collision with ambient cluster gas, the galaxy is stripped down to its skeletal spiral arms as it is eviscerated of fresh hydrogen for making new stars.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Dying Star Sculpts Rungs of Gas and Dust



Astronomers may not have observed the fabled "Stairway to Heaven," but they have photographed something almost as intriguing: ladder-like structures surrounding a dying star. A new image, taken with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, reveals startling new details of one of the most unusual nebulae known in our Milky Way. Cataloged as HD 44179, this nebula is more commonly called the "Red Rectangle" because of its unique shape and color as seen with ground-based telescopes.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Hubble Takes Faintest Spectroscopic Survey of Distant Galaxies



Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have measured accurate distances to several faint, red galaxies seen in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, confirming that three fourths are among the most distant galaxies yet studied. This is a milestone because the Hubble data provide spectra of objects 10 times fainter than have been studied with spectrometers on ground-based telescopes. This allows researchers to probe the common galaxies in the early universe, which are believed to be responsible for most of the energy output at that time, and perhaps also for ionizing and heating the tenuous gas in between galaxies. Surprisingly, the distant galaxies are similar in many ways to their considerably closer descendants.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Dying Star Creates Fantasy-like Sculpture of Gas and Dust



In this detailed view from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, the so-called Cat's Eye Nebula looks like the penetrating eye of the disembodied sorcerer Sauron from the film adaptation of "The Lord of the Rings." The nebula, formally cataloged NGC 6543, is every bit as inscrutable as the J.R.R. Tolkien phantom character. Though the Cat's Eye Nebula was one of the first planetary nebulae to be discovered, it is one of the most complex such nebulae seen in space.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Hubble Approaches the Final Frontier: The Dawn of Galaxies



Detailed analyses of mankind's deepest optical view of the universe, the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF), by several expert teams have at last identified, what may turn out to be, the earliest star-forming galaxies. Astronomers are now debating whether the hottest stars in these early galaxies may have provided enough radiation to "lift a curtain" of cold, primordial hydrogen that cooled after the big bang. This is a problem that has perplexed astronomers over the past decade, and NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has at last glimpsed what could be the "end of the opening act" of galaxy formation. These faint sources illustrate how astronomers can begin to explore when the first galaxies formed and what their properties might be.

But even though Hubble has looked 95 percent of the way back to the beginning of time, astronomers agree that's not far enough.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Stellar Survivor from 1572 A.D. Explosion Supports Supernova Theory



An international team of astronomers is announcing today that they have identified the probable surviving companion star to a titanic supernova explosion witnessed in the year 1572 by the great Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe and other astronomers of that era.

This discovery provides the first direct evidence supporting the long-held belief that Type Ia supernovae come from binary star systems containing a normal star and a burned-out white dwarf star. The normal star spills material onto the dwarf, which eventually triggers an explosion.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Hubble Tracks Asteroid's Sky Trek



While analyzing NASA Hubble Space Telescope images of the Sagittarius dwarf irregular galaxy (SagDIG), an international team of astronomers led by Simone Marchi, Yazan Momany, and Luigi Bedin discovered 13 sucessive faint trails left by a tiny asteroid. The trails are seen as a series of reddish arcs on the right in this August 2003 Advanced Camera for Surveys image.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Hubble Uncovers a Baby Galaxy in a Grown-Up Universe



Scientists using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have measured the age of what may be the youngest galaxy ever seen in the universe. By cosmological standards it is a mere toddler seemingly out of place among the grown-up galaxies around it. Called I Zwicky 18, it may be as young as 500 million years old (so recent an epoch that complex life had already begun to appear on Earth). Our Milky Way galaxy by contrast is over 20 times older, or about 12 billion years old, the typical age of galaxies across the universe. This "late-life" galaxy offers a rare glimpse into what the first diminutive galaxies in the early universe look like.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Spitzer and Hubble Capture Evolving Planetary Systems



Two of NASA's Great Observatories, the Spitzer Space Telescope and the Hubble Space Telescope, have provided astronomers an unprecedented look at dusty planetary debris around stars the size of our sun. Spitzer has discovered for the first time dusty discs around mature, sun-like stars known to have planets. Hubble captured the most detailed image ever of a brighter disc circling a much younger sun-like star. The findings offer "snapshots" of the process by which our own solar system evolved, from its dusty and chaotic beginnings to its more settled present-day state.

Debris disks are composed of the shattered remnants of small bodies such as comets and asteroids that collided as they orbited the star. A similar, though much less dense cloud of dust orbits our Sun. Large, gaseous planets like Jupiter might already exist in such systems, while much smaller rocky planets like the Earth may be just starting to form.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
A New Twist on an Old Nebula



Looks can be deceiving, especially when it comes to celestial objects like galaxies and nebulas. These objects are so far away that astronomers cannot see their three-dimensional structure. The Helix Nebula, for example, resembles a doughnut in colorful images. Earlier images of this complex object – the gaseous envelope ejected by a dying, sun-like star – did not allow astronomers to precisely interpret its structure. One possible interpretation was that the Helix's form resembled a snake-like coil. Now, a team of astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has established that the Helix's structure is even more perplexing. Their evidence suggests that the Helix consists of two disks nearly perpendicular to each other.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Saturn's Auroras Defy Scientists' Expectations



The dancing light of the auroras on Saturn behaves in ways different from how scientists have thought possible for the last 25 years. New research by a team of astronomers led by John Clarke of Boston University has overturned theories about how Saturn's magnetic field behaves and how its auroras are generated.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Elusive Planet Reshapes a Ring Around Neighboring Star



The top view, taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope is the most detailed visible-light image ever taken of a narrow, dusty ring around the nearby star Fomalhaut (HD 216956). The image offers the strongest evidence yet that an unruly and unseen planet may be gravitationally tugging on the ring. The left part of the ring is outside the telescope's view. Hubble unequivocally shows that the center of the ring is a whopping 1.4 billion miles (15 astronomical units) away from the star. This is a distance equal to nearly halfway across our solar system. The geometrically striking ring, tilted obliquely toward Earth, would not have such a great offset if it were simply being influenced by Fomalhaut's gravity alone.

The view at bottom points out important features in the image, such as the ring's inner and outer edges. Astronomers used the Advanced Camera for Surveys' (ACS) coronagraph aboard Hubble to block out the light from the bright star so they could see the faint ring. The dot near the ring's center marks the star's location. Despite the coronagraph, some light from the star is still visible in this image, as can be seen in the wagon wheel-like spokes that form an inner ring around Fomalhaut.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Hubble Pinpoints Doomed Star that Explodes as Supernova



Amidst the glitter of billions of stars in the majestic spiral galaxy called the Whirlpool (M51), a massive star abruptly ends its life in a brilliant flash of light. NASA's Hubble Space Telescope snapped images of the exploding star, called supernova (SN) 2005cs, 12 days after its discovery. Astronomers then compared those photos with Hubble images of the same region before the supernova blast to pinpoint the progenitor star (the star that exploded).

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Largest Asteroid May Be 'Mini Planet' with Water Ice



Observations of Ceres, the largest known asteroid, have revealed that the object may be a "mini planet," sharing many characteristics of the rocky, terrestrial planets like Earth. Ceres' mantle, which wraps around the asteroid's core, may even be composed of water ice. The observations by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope also show that the asteroid has a nearly round shape like Earth's and may have a rocky inner core and a thin, dusty outer crust. Astronomers enhanced the sharpness in these images to bring out features on Ceres' surface, including brighter amd darker regions that could be asteroid impact features. The observations were made in visible and ultraviolet light between December 2003 and January 2004.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
NASA's Hubble Reveals Possible New Moons Around Pluto



NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has spotted two possible new moons orbiting Pluto, the ninth planet in our solar system. If confirmed, the candidate moons could provide new insight into the nature and evolution of the Pluto system and the early Kuiper Belt. The Kuiper Belt is a vast region of icy, rocky bodies beyond Neptune's orbit.

These Hubble Space Telescope images reveal Pluto, its large moon Charon, and the planet's two new candidate satellites. Between May 15 and May 18, 2005, Charon, and the putative moons all appear to rotate counterclockwise around Pluto.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Hubble, Sloan Quadruple Number of Known Optical Einstein Rings



Astronomers have combined two powerful astronomical assets, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, to identify 19 new "gravitationally lensed" galaxies, adding significantly to the approximately 100 gravitational lenses previously known. Among these 19, they have found eight new so-called "Einstein rings," which are perhaps the most elegant manifestation of the lensing phenomenon. Gravitational lensing occurs when the gravitational field from a massive object warps space and deflects light from a distant object behind it. Einstein rings are produced when two galaxies are almost perfectly aligned, one behind the other.

The thin blue bull's-eye patterns in these eight Hubble Space Telescope images appear like neon signs floating over reddish-white blobs. The blobs are giant elliptical galaxies roughly 2 to 4 billion light-years away. The bull's-eye patterns are Einstein rings, which are created as the light from galaxies twice as far away is distorted into circular shapes by the gravity of the giant elliptical galaxies.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Astronomers Use Hubble to 'Weigh' Dog Star's Companion



For astronomers, it's always been a source of frustration that the nearest white-dwarf star is buried in the glow of the brightest star in the nighttime sky. This burned-out stellar remnant is a faint companion of the brilliant blue-white Dog Star, Sirius, located in the winter constellation Canis Major. Now, an international team of astronomers has used the keen eye of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to isolate the light from the white dwarf, called Sirius B. The new results allow them to measure precisely the white dwarf's mass based on how its intense gravitational field alters the wavelengths of light emitted by the star.

This Hubble Space Telescope image shows Sirius, the brightest star in our nighttime sky, along with its faint, tiny stellar companion, Sirius B. Astronomers overexposed the image of Sirius [at center] so that the dim Sirius B [tiny dot at lower left] could be seen. The cross-shaped diffraction spikes and concentric rings around Sirius, and the small ring around Sirius B, are artifacts produced within the telescope's imaging system. Sirius B is a white dwarf that orbits around Sirius every 50 years. Sirius, only 8.6 light-years from Earth, is the fifth closest star system known.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
There's More to the North Star Than Meets the Eye



By stretching the capabilities of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to the limit, astronomers have photographed the close companion of Polaris for the first time. This sequence of images shows that the North Star, Polaris is really a triple star system. These findings were presented today in a press conference at the 207th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Washington, D.C.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Monster Black Holes Grow After Galactic Mergers



An analysis of the Hubble Space Telescope's deepest view of the universe offers compelling evidence that monster black holes in the centers of galaxies were not born big but grew over time through repeated galactic mergers. The Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF) studies also confirm recent computer simulations that predict that newly merging galaxies are enshrouded in so much dust that astronomers cannot see black holes feasting on stars and gas from the mergers. The computer simulations, as supported by Hubble, suggest that it takes hundreds of millions to a billion years before enough dust clears so that astronomers can see the black holes feasting on stars and gas from the merger. These postage-stamp-size images reveal 36 young galaxies caught in the act of merging with other galaxies. These galaxies appear as they existed many billions of years ago. Astronomers have dubbed them "tadpole galaxies" because of their distinct knot-and-tail shapes, which suggest that they are engaging in galactic mergers.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Astronomers Find Smallest Extrasolar Planet Yet Around Normal Star



Using an armada of telescopes, an international team of astronomers has found the smallest planet ever detected around a normal star outside our solar system. The extrasolar planet is five times as massive as Earth and orbits a red dwarf, a relatively cool star, every 10 years. This artist's illustration shows an icy/rocky planet orbiting a dim star. The distance between the planet, designated OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb, and its host is about three times greater than that between the Earth and the Sun. The planet's large orbit and its dim parent star make its likely surface temperature a frigid minus 364 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 220 degrees Celsius).

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 
Top Bottom