September 26, 2017

29.9.9:Hubble Spies a Galactic Jet.

A fast moving jet from the core of M87. (Credit: NASA/HST).

A fast moving jet from the core of M87. (Credit: NASA/HST).

The formerly ailing Hubble Space Telescope spied something remarkable earlier this year; a rapidly expanding jet around the massive galaxy M87. Dubbed HST-1, this blob of matter is the first object with a Hubble designation, and has been tracked for over seven years. Brighter than the galaxies’ own core, the gas knot is 214 light years from the core and receding. M87 is visible in the constellation Virgo with a backyard telescope, and is part of the massive Virgo cluster of galaxies about 54 million light years away. The growth of the brightness of the jet expanded by 90 fold over the past decade, giving astronomers the opportunity to examine an active galactic nucleus in action. As the refurbished Hubble begins to strut its stuff, doubtless HST-1 will be an object of increased scrutiny!

TopStars and the Hubble Space Telescope Heritage.

Now that the final servicing mission to the Hubble is winding down, it’s an excellent chance to reflect on the heritage of the Space Telescope, as well as announce an exciting program connected to the Hubble starting this year.

I first heard about the Hubble Top Stars program through Western Governors’ University (WGU rocks!) where I’m currently enrolled in my quest for a Bachelor’s Science Teaching degree. Top Stars is run by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies and is sponsored by NASA. Top Stars is looking for submissions on the best examples of using Hubble for inspiring science, technology, or engineering in education. The winners will receive a high quality Hubble print, official recognition and teleconferencing opportunities with NASA engineers. [Read more...]

Viewing the STS-125 launch and a Servicing Mission 4 Update.

On Monday, May 11th, 2009 at 2:01PM EDT local the Shuttle Atlantis blasted off on a historic mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope(HST) one last time. The day was blistering hot at the Kennedy Space Center(KSC), but the launch went off without a hitch. I’d like to share our notes on the launch viewing experience, as well as give you an update as to what’s happening in orbit.

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Astro-Event of the Week: 05.11.09: See STS-125 dock with Hubble!

First; the good news. This week’s potential launch of Atlantis on STS-125 for it’s much delayed servicing mission (the 4th and final) to the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) will provide spectacular views, both of the initial launch along the Space Coast of Florida and the dawn and dusk skies as it chases the orbiting observatory. Now for the bad; the current orbit of Hubble is positioned such that most of the northern hemisphere won’t see the action! The HST is inclined at a 28.5 degree orbit, far different than the normal 51.6 degree orbit the shuttle orbiters must attain to dock with the ISS.

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Review: The Universe in a Mirror by Robert Zimmerman.

NASA is going back to visit and old friend, one more time.

As we gear up for the collective adventure of the final (?) shuttle mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope (HST),  The Universe in a Mirror: the Saga of the Hubble Space Telescope and the Visionaries Who built It by Robert Zimmerman serves as a fine look back at the history of the storied telescope, as well as a peek at where we might be headed. The tale of how Hubble came to be traces its origins back to past the dawn of the space age. Although much press, both good and bad, has been written on Hubble, much of its origin has never been told. The tale the author weaves in Universe is a fascinating look into the politics of NASA and how the telescope evolved over the periods of successive administrations. [Read more...]

Update: the Final Hubble Servicing Mission.

Mark your calendars; NASA is set to fly one final servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope! First launched in 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope forever altered our view of the heavens.

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