Hubble, the Star Gazer

  1. O. K. I admit it. I hold a deep fascination towards space and all of its wonders. I dream of the day if/when mand-kind discovers warp speed, goes boldly where no man has gone before, and meets that funky looking hairy creature with the one eye in the middle of its forehead.

    In the meanwhile, I guess I'll have to settle for some pictures. And boy are there some really neat pictures to view!

    I know that Hubble had its shakey start. But it's working now. The pictures and other space data that it generates ("discovers"?) is awesome to me!

    It appears that the Hubble Space Telescope has found some very, very, very distant galaxies. COOL! Sparks my imaginations! If you click on the link provided for the article, you can see the recent image from Hubble. Also, I'll provide more links of the Hubble Space Telescope so that you can enjoy with me the wonders of space. . .

    ___________________________

    http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories...sdate=3/9/2004

    Hubble images show deepest universe view

    By PAUL RECER, Associated Press
    Last updated: 3:55 p.m., Tuesday, March 9, 2004


    BALTIMORE -- The deepest-ever view of the universe, a long-duration exposure by the Hubble Space Telescope that looks back to the edge of the big bang, shows a chaotic scramble of odd galaxies, smashing into each other and re-forming in bizarre shapes.

    The snapshot of the universe, called the Ultra Deep Field, captured light that streaked through space for more than 13 billion years, starting its journey when the universe was only 5 percent of its 13.7-billion-year age. The view has about 10,000 galaxies, some mixed in a chaos that one astronomer said "looked like a train wreck."

    Capturing such faint and distant light, officials at the Space Telescope Science Institute said Tuesday, was like photographing a firefly hovering above the moon.

    "For the first time we're looking back at stars that are forming out of the depths of the big bang," said Steven V. W. Beckwith, director of the institute. "We're seeing the youngest stars within a stone's throw of the beginning of the universe."

    Hubble's images were collected by focusing its instruments at a single point in the sky for 1 million seconds, an exposure that took more than 400 orbits of the space telescope.

    The portion in the sky photographed by two Hubble instruments is very small. Astronomers compared the field of view it to looking at the sky through an 8-foot-long soda straw. They said capturing the images is akin to reading the mint date on a 25-cent coin from a mile away.

    What the view lacks in width, however, it makes up for in depth. Beckwith said that never before has a telescope captured such detail from such a distance.

    "These images will be in astronomy textbooks for years," he said.

    Many of the photographed galaxies lack the stately grace and order of spirals, such as the Milky Way, or of the huge elliptical galaxies seen in the nearby universe. Some of the galaxies in the Ultra Deep Field appear to be colliding, with gravitational forces mashing them into unusual shapes. Some resemble toothpicks and others are like a string of faint lights. There also are faint points of vivid red, which may be the most distant and ancient of the galaxies.

    Astronomers believe that during the few hundred million years of star formation, the universe was smaller, the objects closer together and galaxy formation more chaotic.

    Institute officials immediately posted the Hubble images on the Internet and began handing out discs with all of the data.

    In what Beckwith described as a "land rush," astronomers worldwide now will begin an intensive study of the deep field view, searching for clues to fundamental questions about the formation and evolution of stars and galaxies.

    "Getting us the deepest picture of the universe ever is giving us new land to explore," said Massimo Stiavelli, a Space Telescope Science Institute astronomer.

    Release of the Ultra Deep Field may be among the Hubble's last major contribution to astronomy. Maintaining the orbiting telescope requires periodic repair visits by space shuttle astronauts. NASA has announced that, in the aftermath of the Columbia accident in 2003, it is canceling future plans to service the Hubble.

    Beckwith said the Hubble batteries or gyroscopes eventually will fail and disable the observatory. He said it may be down to two gyros by the end of 2005, and if another fails after that, "We'll be out of business."

    He said batteries on the craft are showing signs of wear. When the batteries fail, he said, Hubble could tumble out of control.

    "We don't know exactly when that will happen," he said. "It could happen this year, or it could be another five years."

    Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., who attended the presentation of the new deep-space images, said that such a result "is why I continue to stand up for Hubble."

    She said she continues to fight to extend the life of Hubble and is awaiting a "second opinion" about the telescope's fate.

    NASA announced its intention late on a Friday in January after private discussions that involved NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe.

    "The future of the Hubble should not be made by one man in a NASA backroom without a transparent process," said Mikulski. Astronomers present cheered.

    The Ultra Deep Field is focused on a point in the southern sky. The Hubble conducted deep field study of a point in the northern sky, but the new study penetrates four times farther into the universe.

    Astronomers said the view reaches to the very edge of what is known as the "Dark Ages" in the evolution of the universe.

    Current theory holds that the universe started with an immense explosion, called the big bang, about 13.7 billion years ago. During the next 300 million years or so the universe cooled and was dark, lacking stars.

    First stars and then galaxies begin to form, and it's light from these very early objects that has been captured by Hubble, astronomers believe.

    Just how far away is the most distant object in the photos will require analysis and study of the data, a process that could take years.

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    On the Net:

    Hubble: http://hubblesite.org/news/2004/07
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  2. 33 Comments

  3. by   Ted
    Click here to visit the site! :

    http://hubblesite.org
  4. by   Ted
    Hopefully you can see it!

  5. by   pickledpepperRN
    [b]wow!
    Thank You!
  6. by   Ted






  7. by   Ted
    And still more photos. . .







  8. by   ernurse2244
    Didn't I read recently there are plans to scrap the Hubble program? That would be soooo sad. Thanks for the wonderful photos!
  9. by   kmchugh
    I share Ted's fascination with space exploration, and believe that Hubble has done a great deal to extend mankind's knowledge of the cosmos. I also believe that allowing Hubble to die owing to funding cuts would be a real tragedy. But I did want to address one of Ted's statements directly:

    Quote from efiebke
    O. K. I admit it. I hold a deep fascination towards space and all of its wonders. I dream of the day if/when mand-kind discovers warp speed, goes boldly where no man has gone before, and meets that funky looking hairy creature with the one eye in the middle of its forehead.
    Dream no more, space boy! Back in my single days, I think I dated this creature for a short time. Just give me a little time to find her number for you.

    KM
  10. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from kmchugh
    I share Ted's fascination with space exploration, and believe that Hubble has done a great deal to extend mankind's knowledge of the cosmos. I also believe that allowing Hubble to die owing to funding cuts would be a real tragedy. But I did want to address one of Ted's statements directly:



    Dream no more, space boy! Back in my single days, I think I dated this creature for a short time. Just give me a little time to find her number for you.

    KM
    Kevin . . . I dated her brother . . . shuffling through photos . . .
  11. by   teeituptom
    we need to keep the hubble alive and well
  12. by   Ted
    Quote from kmchugh
    I share Ted's fascination with space exploration, and believe that Hubble has done a great deal to extend mankind's knowledge of the cosmos. I also believe that allowing Hubble to die owing to funding cuts would be a real tragedy. But I did want to address one of Ted's statements directly:

    Quote from efiebke
    O. K. I admit it. I hold a deep fascination towards space and all of its wonders. I dream of the day if/when mand-kind discovers warp speed, goes boldly where no man has gone before, and meets that funky looking hairy creature with the one eye in the middle of its forehead.

    Dream no more, space boy! Back in my single days, I think I dated this creature for a short time. Just give me a little time to find her number for you.

    KM


    Very funny,Kevin!

    Ted

    P. S. "Space Boy"??? :chuckle


    Ted
    Last edit by Ted on Mar 10, '04
  13. by   pickledpepperRN
    To: SPACEBOY
    From: spacenurse:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/spacedocum...169671,00.html
    New 'planet' discovered beyond Pluto

    Press Association
    Monday March 15, 2004

    Scientists in the United States were expected to announce today that they had found a new "planet" in our solar system, after spotting a 10th heavenly body orbiting the sun.

    After sightings by the Hubble telescope and the Spitzer space telescope, Nasa has announced that it would present the "discovery of the most distant object ever detected orbiting the sun"...
  14. by   nekhismom
    cool! Thanks Ted! I used to dream of being an astronaut (who didn't??) but nobody would ever talk to me about HOW to become an astronaut. *sigh* Those pics are SOOOO neat.

    I agree, keep Hubble alive!!

    Thanks for sharing!

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