Midnight In The Desert — Hubble

Hubble Just Spotted a Bizarre New Object in Our Solar System

Posted by K R on

Hubble Just Spotted a Bizarre New Object in Our Solar System

Astronomers have identified a weird pair of orbiting asteroids, called 288P, as the first known binary asteroid also classified as a comet. Astronomers recently spotted two space rocks behaving strangely. As the asteroids orbited each other, both of them appeared to be shedding material just like a comet does — observations revealed a coma around the objects as well as a long tail of material. The group have identified this weird system, called 288P, as “the first known binary asteroid also classified as a comet.” There are a few select examples of single asteroids shedding water and dust and leaving...

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What Will We Do When Hubble Dies?

Posted by K R on

What Will We Do When Hubble Dies?

For a generation, the Hubble Space Telescope has been exposing the universe's deepest, darkest secrets. From imaging the volcanoes of Jupiter's moon Io, to watching the dramatic breakup of comets, imaging baby galaxies, and helping to nail down the universe's age, its data has been instrumental in today's understanding of the cosmos near and far. But it's an old telescope, unmaintained since the last space shuttle mission visited in 2009. While the observatory is in excellent health today, it's expected to stop collecting data sometime in the 2020s. What will we lose when the telescope finally dies? NASA is quick...

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Sorry, Hubble Did Not Find Aliens On Europa

Posted by K R on

Sorry, Hubble Did Not Find Aliens On Europa

NASA, you should really know better than to say you've found something "surprising" without telling us what it is. That can lead a lot of people to speculate. Yesterday our space agency announced that they'd found "Evidence of Surprising Activity on Europa," and promised to reveal more in a teleconference on Monday. Scientists think Jupiter's moon Europa might be capable of supporting alien life in the ocean beneath its icy crust. So of course, people's imaginations ran wild. Well, NASA would like you to know that it's definitely not aliens. (Never mind that the press release made it pretty clear...

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Hubble Captures Jupiter's Brilliant Aurora

Posted by K R on

Hubble Captures Jupiter's Brilliant Aurora

Days before the Juno spacecraft is scheduled to arrive, astronomers have captured an enormous aurora at the north pole of Jupiter. The imagery, released this week, was taken back on May 19 using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope as part of a program to study how solar wind affects auroras on Jupiter. The video above was created by pairing many far-ultraviolet images from Hubble with a full-color disk of Jupiter that was photographed at a different time. Like on Earth, an aurora is produced when highly charged particles interact with the atmosphere. For Earthlings, the light show begins with our incredibly...

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Hubble Will Continue to Fly Until 2021

Posted by K R on

Hubble Will Continue to Fly Until 2021

Fact: The Hubble Telescope is a better photographer than you or I will ever be. Now, it’s going to keep right on showing us all up...at least for the next five years. NASA just added three years onto Hubble’s contract. The move will fund the telescope’s flight until June 30, 2021, at an additional cost of a measly $4 billion. The add-on brings the total project cost to $200 billion. The James Webb Space Telescope, which is three times Hubble’s size and power, is also set to launch in 2018. This news means Hubble and Webb will both be beaming...

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