Space Hubble Telescope News

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Hubble Finds 'Tenth Planet' is Slightly Larger than Pluto



NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has resolved the "tenth planet," nicknamed "Xena," for the first time and has found that it is only just a little larger than Pluto.

Though previous ground-based observations suggested that Xena was about 30 percent greater in diameter than Pluto, Hubble observations taken on Dec. 9 and 10, 2005, yield a diameter of 1,490 miles (with an uncertainty of 60 miles) for Xena. Pluto's diameter, as measured by Hubble, is 1,422 miles. Xena is the large object at the bottom of this artist's concept. A portion of its surface is lit by the Sun, located in the upper left corner of the image. Xena's companion, Gabrielle, is located just above and to the left of Xena.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Hubble Eyes Star Birth in the Extreme



Staring into the crowded, dusty core of two merging galaxies, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered a region where star formation has gone wild.

The interacting galaxies appear as a single, odd-looking galaxy called Arp 220. The galaxy is a nearby example of the aftermath of two colliding galaxies. In fact, Arp 220 is the brightest of the three galactic mergers closest to Earth. This latest view of the galaxy is yielding new insights into the early universe, when galactic wrecks were more common. The sharp eye of Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys has unveiled more than 200 mammoth star clusters. The clusters are the bluish-white dots scattered throughout the image.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Hubble Identifies Stellar Companion to Distant Planet



NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has for the first time identified the parent star of a distant planet (system name OGLE-2003-BLG-235L/MOA-2003-BLG-53L) discovered in 2003 through ground-based gravitational microlensing. Gravitational microlensing occurs when a foreground star amplifies the light of a background star that momentarily aligns with it. Follow-up observations by Hubble in 2005 separated the light of the slightly offset foreground star from the background star. This allowed the host star to be identified as a red dwarf star located 19,000 light-years away. The Hubble observations allow for the planet's mass and the orbit from its parent red star to be determined. In this artist's concept, the rings and moon around the gas giant are hypothetical, but plausible, given the nature of the family of gas giant planets in our solar system.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Hubble Captures Galaxy in the Making



Images from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have provided a dramatic glimpse of a large and massive galaxy under assembly by the merging of smaller, lighter galaxies. Astrophysicists believe that this is the way galaxies grew in the young universe. Now, Hubble observations of the radio galaxy MRC 1138-262, nicknamed the "Spiderweb Galaxy" show dozens of star-forming satellite galaxies as individual clumpy features in the process of merging. Because the galaxy is 10.6 billion light-years away, astronomers are seeing it as it looked in the universe's early formative years, only 3 billion years after the Big Bang.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Hubble Observations Provide Insight into Planet Birth



Hubble observed a "blizzard" of particles in a disk around a young star revealing the process by which planets grow from tiny dust grains. The particles are as fluffy as snowflakes and are roughly ten times larger than typical interstellar dust grains. They were detected in a disk encircling the 12-million-year-old star AU Microscopii. The star is 32 light-years away in the southern constellation of Microscopium, the Microscope.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Hubble Maps the Cosmic Web of "Clumpy" Dark Matter in 3-D



An international team of astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has created a three-dimensional map that provides the first direct look at the large-scale distribution of dark matter in the universe.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
The Carina Nebula: Star Birth in the Extreme



In celebration of the 17th anniversary of the launch and deployment of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, a team of astronomers is releasing one of the largest panoramic images ever taken with Hubble's cameras. It is a 50-light-year-wide view of the central region of the Carina Nebula where a maelstrom of star birth - and death - is taking place. This image is a mosaic of the Carina Nebula assembled from 48 frames taken with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys. The Hubble images were taken in the light of neutral hydrogen during March and July 2005. Color information was added with data taken in December 2001 and March 2003 at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. Red corresponds to sulfur, green to hydrogen, and blue to oxygen emission.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Hubble Finds Multiple Stellar 'Baby Booms' in a Globular Cluster



Astronomers have long thought that globular star clusters had a single "baby boom" of stars early in their lives and then settled into a quiet existence. But new observations by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope of the massive globular cluster NGC 2808 provide evidence that star birth went "boom, boom, boom," with three generations of stars forming very early in the cluster's life.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Astronomers Measure Mass of Largest Dwarf Planet



NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has teamed up with the W.M. Keck Observatory to precisely measure the mass of Eris, the largest member of a new class of dwarf planets in our solar system. Eris is 1.27 times the mass of Pluto, formerly the largest member of the Kuiper Belt of icy objects beyond Neptune.

Hubble observations in 2006 showed that Eris is slightly physically larger than Pluto. But the mass could only be calculated by observing the orbital motion of the moon Dysnomia around Eris. Multiple images of Dysnomia's movement along its orbit were taken by Hubble and Keck.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Astronomers Find Highly Elliptical Disk Around Young Star



Dust and debris parade in an extremely misshapen ring around the young star, HD 15115. The disk, seen edge-on with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, is the dense blue line extending from the star to the upper right and lower left of the image. The disk appears thicker at upper right than at lower left, evidence of its lopsided structure. Astronomers think the disk's needle-like look is caused by dust particles following a highly elliptical orbit around the star. The lopsidedness may have been caused by planets sweeping up debris in the disk or by the gravity of a nearby star. An occulting mask on Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys was used to block out the bright starlight in order to see the dim disk. The occulting masks can be seen in the image as the dark circle in the center and the dark bar on the left. The star is behind the central mask. The Hubble image was taken on July 17, 2006. Follow-up observations in 2006 and 2007 with the W.M. Keck Observatory investigated the odd disk further.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Hubble Finds 'Dorian Gray' Galaxy



NASA's Hubble Space Telescope quashed the possibility that what was previously believed to be a toddler galaxy in the nearby universe may actually be considered an adult. Called I Zwicky 18, this galaxy has a youthful appearance that resembles galaxies typically found only in the early universe. Hubble has now found faint, older stars within this galaxy, suggesting that the galaxy may have formed at the same time as most other galaxies.

Hubble data also allowed astronomers for the first time to identify Cepheid variable stars in I Zwicky 18. These flashing stellar mile-markers were used to determine that I Zwicky 18 is 59 million light-years from Earth, almost 10 million light-years more distant than previously believed.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Hubble Sees Magnetic Monster in Erupting Galaxy



NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has found an answer to a long-standing puzzle by resolving giant but delicate filaments shaped by a strong magnetic field around the active galaxy NGC 1275. It is the most striking example of the influence of the immense tentacles of extragalactic magnetic fields. The galaxy was photographed in July and August 2006 with the Advanced Camera for Surveys in three color filters.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Small Companion to Brown Dwarf Challenges Simple Definition



As our telescopes grow more powerful, astronomers are uncovering objects that defy conventional wisdom. This latest example is the discovery of a planet-like object circling a brown dwarf. It's the right size for a planet, estimated to be 5-10 times the mass of Jupiter. There has been a lot of discussion in the context of the Pluto debate over how small an object can be and still be called a planet. This new observation addresses the question at the other end of the size spectrum: How small can an object be and still be a brown dwarf rather than a planet? This new companion is within the range of masses observed for planets around stars – less than 15 Jupiter masses. But should it be called a planet? The answer is strongly connected to the mechanism by which the companion most likely formed. What's even more puzzling is that the object formed in just 1 million years, a very short time to make a planet according to conventional theory.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Hubble Harvests Distant Solar System Objects



This is an artist's concept of a craggy piece of solar system debris that belongs to a class of bodies called trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs). Most TNOs are small and faint, making them difficult to spot. Generally, they are more than 100 million times fainter than objects visible to the unaided eye. The newfound TNOs range from 25 to 60 miles (40-100 km) across. In this illustration, the distant Sun is reduced to a bright star at a distance of over 3 billion miles. Astronomers culling the data archives of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have added 14 new TNOs to the catalog. Their search method promises to turn up hundreds more.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Hubble Provides First Census of Galaxies Near Cosmic Dawn



Using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have uncovered a previously unseen population of seven primitive galaxies that formed more than 13 billion years ago, when the universe was less than 3 percent of its present age. The deepest images to date from Hubble yield the first statistically robust sample of galaxies that tells how abundant they were close to the era when galaxies first formed. The results show a smooth decline in the number of galaxies with increasing look-back time to about 450 million years after the big bang. The observations support the idea that galaxies assembled continuously over time and also may have provided enough radiation to reheat, or reionize, the universe a few hundred million years after the big bang. These pioneering observations blaze a trail for future exploration of this epoch by NASA's next-generation spacecraft, the James Webb Space Telescope. Looking deeper into the universe also means peering farther back in time. The universe is now 13.7 billion years old. The newly discovered galaxies are seen as they looked 350 million to 600 million years after the big bang. Their light is just arriving at Earth now.

The public is invited to participate in a "First Census of Galaxies Near Cosmic Dawn" webinar, in which key astronomers of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field 2012 team will discuss how they obtained their result and what it tells us about galaxy formation in the very early universe. Participants will be able to send in questions for the panel of experts to discuss. The webinar will be broadcast at 1:00 pm EST on Friday, December 14, 2012.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Hubble Watches Stars' Clockwork Motion in Nearby Galaxy



Using the sharp-eyed NASA Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have for the first time precisely measured the rotation rate of a galaxy based on the clock-like movement of its stars.

According to their analysis, the central part of the neighboring galaxy, called the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), completes a rotation every 250 million years. Coincidentally, it takes our Sun the same amount of time to complete a rotation around the center of our Milky Way galaxy. The arrows in this photo illustration represent the highest-quality Hubble measurements of the motion of the LMC's stars to show how the galaxy rotates.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Hubble Provides Multiple Views of How to Feed a Black Hole



Astronomers have obtained an unprecedented look at the nearest example of galactic cannibalism – a massive black hole hidden at the center of a nearby giant galaxy that is feeding on a smaller galaxy in a spectacular collision. Such fireworks were common in the early universe, as galaxies formed and evolved, but are rare today.

The Hubble telescope offers a stunning unprecedented close-up view of a turbulent firestorm of star birth along a nearly edge-on dust disk girdling Centaurus A, the nearest active galaxy to Earth. The picture at upper left shows the entire galaxy. The blue outline represents Hubble's field of view. The larger, central picture is Hubble's close-up view of the galaxy. Brilliant clusters of young blue stars lie along the edge of the dark dust lane. Outside the rift the sky is filled with the soft hazy glow of the galaxy's much older resident population of red giant and red dwarf stars.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Lone Black Holes Discovered Adrift in the Galaxy



Astronomers using the Hubble telescope and ground-based observatories have discovered the first examples of isolated, stellar-mass black holes adrift among the stars in our Milky Way Galaxy. They detected two of these lonely, invisible objects indirectly by measuring how their extreme gravity bends the light of a more distant star behind them. All previously known "stellar" black holes have been found orbiting normal stars. Astronomers determined the presence of those compact powerhouses by examining their effect on their companion star. These new results suggest that black holes are common and that many massive but normal stars may end their lives as black holes instead of neutron stars, the crushed cores of massive stars that end their lives in supernova explosions. The findings also suggest that stellar-mass black holes do not require some sort of interaction in a double-star system to form but may be produced in the collapse of isolated, massive stars, as has long been proposed by stellar theorists.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Astronomers Puzzled over Comet LINEAR's Missing Pieces



Astronomers analyzing debris from a comet that broke apart last summer spied pieces as small as smoke-sized particles and as large as football-field-sized fragments. But it's the material they didn't see that has aroused their curiosity. Tracking the doomed comet, named LINEAR, the Hubble telescope and the Very Large Telescope in Chile found tiny particles that made up the 62,000-mile-long dust tail and 16 large fragments, some as wide as 330 feet. But the telescopes didn't detect any intermediate-sized pieces. If they exist, then the fundamental building blocks that comprised LINEAR's nucleus may be somewhat smaller than current theories suggest.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
Hubble's Infrared Eyes Home in on Suspected Extrasolar Planet



The Hubble Space Telescope's near-infrared vision is hot on the trail of a possible planetary companion to a relatively bright young brown dwarf located 225 light-years away in the southern constellation Hydra. Astronomers at the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile detected the planet candidate in April 2004 with infrared observations. The astronomers spotted a faint companion object to the brown dwarf, called 2MASSWJ 1207334-393254 (2M1207). They suspect the companion is a planet because it is dimmer and cooler than the brown dwarf. Because a planet beyond our solar system has never been imaged directly, this remarkable observation required Hubble's unique abilities to perform follow-up observations to test and validate if the object is indeed a planet. Based on the VLT and Hubble observations, astronomers are 99 percent sure that the companion is orbiting the brown dwarf.

(More at HubbleSite.com)
 
Top Bottom