Science Release: Spiralling Stars Provide a Window into the Early Universe
Astronomers have been bemused to find young stars spiralling into the centre of a massive cluster of stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way. The outer arm of the spiral in this huge, oddly shaped stellar nursery — called NGC 346 — may be feeding star formation in a river-like motion of gas and stars. This is an efficient way to fuel star birth, researchers say.
Photo Release: Webb and Hubble Capture Detailed Views of DART Impact
Two of the great observatories, the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope and the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, have captured views of a unique experiment to smash a spacecraft into a small asteroid. NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) impact observations mark the first time that Webb and Hubble were used to simultaneously observe the same celestial target.
Nowadays, all galaxies and galaxy clusters are thought to be dominated by dark matter — an elusive quantity whose nature astronomers are still working to determine. Abell 611, the glowing galaxy cluster shown in this Hubble image, is no exception. In fact, Abell 611 is a popular target for investigating dark matter, in part because of the numerous examples of strong gravitational lensing visible amongst the cluster’s intricate web of galaxies.
Photo Release: Hubble Captures Three Faces of Evolving Supernova in Early Universe
Three different moments in a far-off supernova explosion were captured in a single snapshot by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The progenitor star exploded more than 11 billion years ago, when the Universe was less than a fifth of its current age of 13.8 billion years.
Science Release: Hubble Helps Discover a New Type of Planet Largely Composed of Water
Researchers have found evidence for the existence of a new type of planet they have called a “water world,” where water makes up a large fraction of the entire planet. These worlds, discovered in a planetary system 218 light-years away, are unlike any planets in our Solar System.
Photo Release: Hubble captures movie of DART asteroid impact debris
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope captured a series of photos of rapid changes to the asteroid Dimorphos when it was deliberately hit by a 545-kilogram spacecraft on 26 September 2022. The primary objective of the NASA mission, called DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test), was to test our ability to alter the asteroid’s trajectory as it orbits its larger companion asteroid, Didymos. Though Dimorphos poses no threat to Earth, data from the mission could help inform researchers how to potentially change an asteroid’s path away from Earth, if ever necessary.
Photo Release: Hubble monitors changing weather and seasons on Jupiter and Uranus
Ever since its launch in 1990, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has been an interplanetary weather observer, keeping an eye on the ever-changing atmospheres of the largely gaseous outer planets. And it’s an unblinking eye that allows Hubble’s sharpness and sensitivity to monitor a kaleidoscope of complex activities over time. Today new images are shared of Jupiter and Uranus.
Photo Release: Hubble celebrates its 33rd anniversary with a peek into a nearby star-forming region
Astronomers are celebrating the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s 33rd launch anniversary with an ethereal photo of a nearby star-forming region, NGC 1333. The nebula is in the Perseus molecular cloud, and is located approximately 960 light-years away.
Science Release: Hubble follows shadow play around planet-forming disc
In 2017 astronomers reported discovering a shadow sweeping across the face of a vast pancake-shaped disc of gas and dust surrounding the red dwarf star TW Hydrae. The shadow isn’t from a planet, but from an inner disc slightly inclined relative to the much larger outer disc — causing it to cast a shadow. One explanation is that an unseen planet’s gravity is pulling dust and gas into its inclined orbit. Now, a second shadow — playing a game of peek-a-boo — has emerged in just a few years between observations stored in the MAST archive of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. This could be from yet another disc nestled inside the system. The two discs are likely evidence of a pair of planets under construction.
Science Release: Hubble hunts for intermediate-sized black hole close to home
Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have come up with what they say is some of their best evidence yet for the presence of a rare class of intermediate-sized black holes, having found a strong candidate lurking at the heart of the closest globular star cluster to Earth, located 6000 light-years away.