Hubble Space Telescope was launched on April 24, 1990, and entered service on May 20, 1990. Since then, it has observed all the planets in our Solar System, apart from Earth and Mercury. Earth is far better studied by geologists on the ground and specialized probes in orbit. Hubble can’t observe Mercury as it is too close to the Sun, whose brightness would damage the telescope’s sensitive instruments.
Here are the best images of the planets (except Earth and Mercury) and some non-planets of our Solar System through the eye of Hubble Space Telescope.
Continue reading Solar System through the eyes of Hubble Space Telescope
Ten years ago today, on May 13, 2009, NASA astronaut Michael J. Massimino composed the first tweet from space as he and the crew of Space Shuttle Atlantis zoomed to rendezvous with the Hubble Space Telescope. Massimino wrote “From orbit: Launch was awesome!! I am feeling great, working hard, & enjoying the magnificent views, the adventure of a lifetime has begun!”.
Continue reading The First Tweet from Space (May 13, 2009)
In January 2015, NASA released the largest image ever of the Andromeda galaxy, called the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury (PHAT), taken by the Hubble telescope. This composite image involved thousands of observations, hundreds of fields, spanned about a third of the galaxy and resolved over 100 million stars.
Totaling 1.5 billion pixels and requiring 4.3 gigabytes of disk space, this photo provides a detailed glimpse at the sheer scale of our nearest galactic neighbor.
Using this gigantic image, filmmaker Dave Achtemichuk created an unforgettable interactive experience.
Continue reading Watch: 100 Million Stars of the Andromeda Galaxy
The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) is a ground-based extremely large telescope under construction, planned for completion in 2025. When completed, it will be one member of the next class of giant ground-based telescopes that promises to revolutionize our view and understanding of the universe. It will be constructed in the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile.
GMT has a unique design that offers several advantages. It is a segmented mirror telescope that employs seven of today’s largest stiff monolith mirrors as segments. Six off-axis 8.4 meter or 27-foot segments surround a central on-axis segment, forming a single optical surface 24.5 meters, or 80 feet, in diameter with a total collecting area of 368 square meters. The GMT will have a resolving power 10 times greater than the Hubble Space Telescope!
Continue reading Watch: Casting a $20 Million Mirror for the World’s Largest Telescope (Giant Magellan Telescope)
What is the biggest star in the Universe? In fact, it is really hard to give an exact answer to this question since the universe is big, neighboring and the other galaxies are billions of light years away from us. But, we can give it a try. Here are the top 6 biggest stars in the Universe currently known by radius.
Continue reading Top 6 Biggest Stars in the Universe
On April 24, 1990, Hubble Space Telescope was launched into low Earth orbit from space shuttle Discovery (STS-31). It orbits the Earth at an altitude of about 350 miles (560 kilometers). For a comparison, the International Space Station (ISS) maintains an orbit with an altitude of between 205 and 270 miles (330 and 435 kilometers). The telescope is 43.5 feet (13.2 meters) long, weighs 24,500 pounds (11,110 kilograms).
Here is a photo of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope below.
Continue reading Hubble Space Telescope Launch
A new study published on April 26, 2018, suggests that TRAPPIST-1e, an exoplanet orbiting the red dwarf star TRAPPIST-1, has a large iron core. This could mean that the planet TRAPPIST-1e may have a protective magnetosphere Notes 1 as we have here on Earth.
Continue reading TRAPPIST-1e has an Iron Core
Good news for the search for extraterrestrial life: the TRAPPIST-1 System might be rich (very rich!) in water and all of the planets are mostly made of rock. Using data from NASA’s Spitzer and Kepler space telescopes, researchers calculated the densities of TRAPPIST-1 planets more precisely than ever, and they determined that all of the planets are mostly made of rock. Additionally, some have up to 5 percent of their mass in water, which is around 250 times more than the oceans on Earth. Researchers published their findings in a recent study in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics titled “The nature of the TRAPPIST-1 exoplanets” .
Continue reading Hubble Observes Atmospheres of TRAPPIST-1 Exoplanets in the Habitable Zone
Today, to celebrate 25th launch anniversary of Tracking and Data Relay Satellite 6 (TDRS-6), the American communications satellite which launched by Space Shuttle Endeavour on January 13, 1993, NASA has published two amazing photos on its twitter account. The American space agency has tweeted that “Happy 25th launch anniversary to TDRS-6, launched on this day in 1993! TDRS-6 is still operational today, well past its intended design life“.
Continue reading 25th launch anniversary of TDRS-6 (Amazing Photos)
NASA (The National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has published a video that contains highlights of important events and the space agency’s achievements over the year 2017.
Continue reading Watch: NASA’s 2017 Highlights