Tech & Science : Dear Hubble: How one telescope transformed astronomy, and us all - PressFrom - Australia
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Tech & Science Dear Hubble: How one telescope transformed astronomy, and us all

17:40  21 may  2019
17:40  21 may  2019 Source:   nationalgeographic.com

Distant object at edge of Solar System is an ancient relic from 4.5 billion years ago

Distant object at edge of Solar System is an ancient relic from 4.5 billion years ago It's a rather uninspiring object, with no moons, rings or dust clouds in orbit around it; nor is there any evidence of an atmosphere. But this distant space rock at the far edge of our Solar System is actually an ancient relic that's remained largely untouched – even by the heat of the Sun – since its formation roughly 4.5 billion years ago, a new study said. The unassuming, 20-mile-long object, which looks like a snowman that's been flattened like a pancake, is informally known as "Ultima Thule." Thus, it preserves clues about the early history of the Solar System.

Nasa's # Hubble Space Telescope is a marvel of the modern age. It has opened # astronomy and space exploration to a new generation with it detailed and

The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is a space telescope that was launched into low Earth orbit in 1990 and remains in operation. It was not the first space telescope

This essay is an entry in our "Dear Spacecraft" series, where we ask writers, scientists, and astronomy enthusiasts to share why they feel personally connected to robotic space explorers.

Dear Hubble,

A few years back, a series of segments appeared on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon that astronomy nerds loved. Here’s the premise: A bombastic guy decked out in Yankees gear named “Milky J” would come out of the audience and get in-your-face excited about, of all things, the Hubble Space Telescope. One after the next, Milky J would show mind-blowing Hubble pictures, and then he’d shout his catchphrase: “Hubble gotchu!”

Distant object at edge of Solar System is an ancient relic from 4.5 billion years ago

Distant object at edge of Solar System is an ancient relic from 4.5 billion years ago It's a rather uninspiring object, with no moons, rings or dust clouds in orbit around it; nor is there any evidence of an atmosphere. But this distant space rock at the far edge of our Solar System is actually an ancient relic that's remained largely untouched – even by the heat of the Sun – since its formation roughly 4.5 billion years ago, a new study said. The unassuming, 20-mile-long object, which looks like a snowman that's been flattened like a pancake, is informally known as "Ultima Thule." Thus, it preserves clues about the early history of the Solar System.

Changing Astronomy . Hubble 's discoveries have transformed the way scientists look at the universe. Its ability to show the universe in unprecedented detail has turned astronomical conjectures into concrete certainties. It has winnowed down the collection of theories about the universe even as it

Astronomy .com is for anyone who wants to learn more about astronomy events, cosmology, planets, galaxies, asteroids, astrophotography, the But the story of the Hubble telescope is not one simply of challenge, trouble, and triumph. It is one that explains why we know what we know about the universe

In my case, Milky J’s catchphrase proved pretty accurate. Wherever I’ve been in life—an astronomy nerd, a telescope data analyst, and now a science journalist who keeps up with your latest—you’ve got me.

Your road to fame was a rocky one. You started as a massive government boondoggle, a punchline on the same kind of late-night talk shows that later celebrated you. You were supposed to launch in 1983, but you were delayed. You were supposed to cost in the hundreds of millions, but your budget ran over—way over. And when you finally launched in 1990, your vision was blurred, thanks to a mirror misshapen by the contractors who built you.

Things started to turn around for you in the spring of 1993, when astronomers spotted a shattered comet on course to hit Jupiter. They wanted you at full strength to watch, and that winter, astronauts visited you and installed corrective eyewear. With days to go before the comet crash, you still were having software problems (pre-game jitters, perhaps?). But just in time, you caught the scars in Jupiter’s atmosphere from the cometary impacts—echoes of the ancient collision here that doomed the dinosaurs.

Did you see the Melbourne meteor?

Did you see the Melbourne meteor? A tiny chunk of rock probably no larger than a marble lit up the sky for hundreds of kilometres over Victoria on Tuesday night. People across the state reported seeing the meteor flying in the south-western sky about 12 minutes past 11 on Tuesday night, before detonating in an explosion that filled the sky. Perry Vlahos from the Astronomical Society of Victoria has been fielding calls all day from people who saw the flash, some from as far away as South Australia. © Supplied The meteor flash seen over Melbourne, apparently captured in Endeavour Hills.

The telescope smiling up at us like a giant Tiffany shaving mirror is 6.5 meters in diameter, or just Hubble has been called the most important advance in astronomy since Galileo, and its greatest They know how to attach a probe or robot to the telescope , Dr. Mather said, but “ we are planning to

A: For professional astronomy , Hubble is one of the premier facilities for research. The greatest short-term public impact has been wonder and curiosity. The images we produce, and which are widely disseminated Hubble 's ability to reach the public and get them to wonder what, how , and why are a

A look at the universe through Hubble Space Telescope (Photo Services)

Soon after that, I encountered you for the first time. When I was in elementary school, I saw your famous “Pillars of Creation” picture, and I remember it shaking my world. You were showing us technicolor stalagmites that stretched for light-years tall. They were something vast, something that couldn’t possibly be real.

I didn’t understand then that inspiring such awe was only part of your much larger mission. For example, you measured the speed at which faraway galaxies recede from each other as the universe expands—a rate that, like you, shares its name with astronomer Edwin Hubble.

For decades, cosmologists lived and died fighting over the precise value of this number, so you were built to settle the matter. But you just couldn’t leave well enough alone: By gazing out at distant exploding stars, you showed that the expansion of space is actually accelerating thanks to a mysterious mixer in the cosmic cocktail we now call dark energy. As you re-measure the expansion rate with greater precision, your findings disagree with those made by the world’s greatest cosmology observatories. If this discrepancy holds, it might mean that you’ve spotted yet another missing ingredient in the universe—you know, as one does.

You’ve also peered for days, brooding, into the darkest corner of space you could find. Each time you have, you’ve encountered innumerable galaxies, reaching back toward the dawn of time itself. Your first attempt at this visual time-travel was called the Hubble Deep Field. Now, after the “Ultra Deep Field,” the “Extreme Deep Field,” and the “Frontier Fields,” you must be running out of adjectives to describe the depth of your view.

And when you’re not looking into the universe’s earliest days, you’re sometimes watching the atmospheres of worlds outside our solar system. Nobody even knew of any exoplanets when they built you. Now, you can watch a planet cross in front of its home star and spot the light that filters through that planet’s atmosphere. Such subtle signals are as close to sniffing alien air as we’re going to get anytime soon.

Through all this, you have kept releasing images, and I have kept looking at them in awe. I remember forcing friends and college study buddies to click through your picture galleries, telling them that your dreamscapes were as sublime as Edmund Burke or Immanuel Kant would have defined it. Remember those images? The galaxies tearing into each other like clashing hurricanes? The clusters of uncountable stars? The nebulae puffed out by dead suns, carved into baubles of colored glass?

After college, I worked at your base on Earth, Baltimore’s Space Telescope Science Institute. I don’t think you would remember me; I was one of the little people, a very small part of a team analyzing one of your cameras for signs of wear and tear. Now, I spend a lot less time looking through your raw data. But I still love seeing your images; you remain a sharp eye above Earth’s atmosphere, a steady presence that makes so many discoveries possible.

This past year, I turned 30, a time for retrospection. Please know that as you also enter your third decade, many of us back on Earth feel so much kinship with you—a world-famous telescope the size of a school bus, a portal to the surreal and the sublime, and arguably one of the greatest science experiments in human history.

What I’m saying is: We gotchu.

Josh

Joshua Sokol is a freelance writer based in Boston. A former research and instrument analyst on Hubble, he now covers deep space, deep time, and other topics in natural history. Connect with him on Twitter.

Earth's water could have interstellar origin, study says.
Water is one of the major building blocks of life and Earth has an abundance of it, as 71 percent of its surface is covered by water, largely due to its expansive oceans. Now a new study theorizes that Earth's water may have been carried to our planet from ancient comets, millions of years ago. The study, published in Astronomy and Astrophysics Letters, looked at data from NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) and found that there were similarities to the water contained on the comet Wirtanen and the water on Earth.

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