Midnight In The Desert — Hubble

Surprise! The universe is expanding faster than scientists thought

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Surprise! The universe is expanding faster than scientists thought

The universe is expanding 5 to 9 percent faster than astronomers had thought, a new study suggests. "This surprising finding may be an important clue to understanding those mysterious parts of the universe that make up 95 percent of everything and don't emit light, such as dark energy, dark matter and dark radiation," study leader Adam Riess, an astrophysicist at the Space Telescope Science Institute and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, said in a statement. Riess — who shared the 2011 Nobel Prize in physics for the discovery that the universe's expansion is accelerating — and his colleagues used NASA's...

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Hubble telescope captures sharpest image yet of mysterious red rectangle

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Hubble telescope captures sharpest image yet of mysterious red rectangle

A striking new image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope delivers a deep look into a mysterious cosmic object called the Red Rectangle Nebula. The Red Rectangle, so named because of its bizarre shape and striking color, is a nebula — a cosmic cloud of gas and particles. In this case, the nebula is formed by the central star, HD 44179, which is reaching the end of its life and shedding most of its mass into space. The source of the red light emitted by the Red Rectangle baffled scientists for more than 30 years. The same kind of red...

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NASA marks Hubble's birthday with this captivating image

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NASA marks Hubble's birthday with this captivating image

On Sunday, the Hubble Space Telescope celebrated its 26th year in space, and NASA has chosen a striking image of a massive bubble to mark the occasion. The Space Shuttle Discovery blasted off on April 24, 1990, on a five-day, two-million-mile mission that deployed the Hubble. After the agency discovered that the space telescope’s mirror was faulty, it took another mission, this time by the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1993, to correct its optics. Four more servicing missions followed, the final one in 2009. In the Hubble’s over two decades in space, it has made over a million observations, and...

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A monster black hole was found in an unexpected part of the universe

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A monster black hole was found in an unexpected part of the universe

Astronomers have found a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy in a "sparsely populated" area of the universe, NASA announced yesterday. The finding is important because black holes that size were believed to exist only at the core of very large galaxy clusters. The newly found black hole, observed by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the Gemini Telescope in Hawaii, seems to suggest that such black holes are more common that once thought. "The newly discovered supersized black hole resides in the center of a massive elliptical galaxy, NGC 1600, located in a cosmic backwater, a small...

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Hubble Space Telescope Shatters Cosmic Distance Record, Spots Oldest Galaxy Ever Found

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Hubble Space Telescope Shatters Cosmic Distance Record, Spots Oldest Galaxy Ever Found

The Hubble Space Telescope has been “pushed to its limits,” and the result is a total shocker. On Friday, NASA announced that the telescope had seen farther back in time than ever before, successfully observing the most distant (and oldest) galaxy in the universe to date. The galaxy, dubbed GN-z11, is located a record 13.4 billion light years from Earth -- that’s just 400 million years after the Big Bang -- in the direction of the constellation Ursa Major. (In case you need an astronomy refresher, distance and age are linked here. The farther away an object is from Earth,...

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