Midnight In The Desert — Hubble

This Massive Star Sure Is Beautiful, Too Bad It's Doomed

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This Massive Star Sure Is Beautiful, Too Bad It's Doomed

Behold WR 31a, a massive star surrounded by a rapidly expanding cloud of gas and dust. This gorgeous celestial structure emerged just 20,000 years ago, and is currently growing at a rate of 136,700 miles every hour. WR 31a is a Wolf-Rayet (WR) star located about 30,000 light-years from Earth. These stars are particularly large, with masses typically reaching 20 times that of our Sun. The characteristic blue bubble surrounding the object is a Wolf-Rayet nebula comprised of dust, hydrogen, helium, and other gases. These objects, which are frequently ring-shaped or spherical, appear when rapid stellar winds come into contact...

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NASA’s new telescope will have a view 100 times bigger than Hubble’s

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NASA’s new telescope will have a view 100 times bigger than Hubble’s

Are we alone in the universe? What is dark energy? These are two of the biggest mysteries of our universe, and NASA’s new space telescope hopes to answer them both. The US space agency announced yesterday (Feb. 18) that its Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)—originally just a study—will move forward into project phase. WFIRST will have the same precision and power of the Hubble Space Telescope, but with a field of view 100 times greater. It can capture millions of galaxies in a single image. Try wrapping your head around that. In a press release, NASA outlined WFIRST’s two...

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NASA Begins Turning a Spy Satellite Into a New Hubble

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NASA Begins Turning a Spy Satellite Into a New Hubble

In 2012, the National Reconnaissance Office gave NASA two powerful spy satellites it no longer needed. The agency spent several months figuring out what to do with them. And now, finally, work is underway to bring the WFIRST fleet into reality. The mirror in the telescopes are the same size as the one in Hubble, but adaptive optics and a wide field imager will give WFIRST 100 times the capabilities of the Hubble Space Telescope. It's set for launch around 2024, far after the 2018 launch of the more powerful James Webb Telescope, but WFIRST fills a niche: it will...

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Potentially Dazzling Comet ISON Still Intact

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Potentially Dazzling Comet ISON Still Intact

Skywatchers take heart: The potentially brilliant Comet ISON appears to be holding together thus far on its perilous journey around the sun. Some astronomers have predicted that Comet ISON will break apart before its Nov. 28 close solar approach, when the icy wanderer will skim just 730,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers) above the surface of the sun. But a new photo from NASA's iconic Hubble Space Telescope suggests that ISON remains intact for now. "In this NASA Hubble Space Telescope image taken on Oct. 9, the comet's solid nucleus is unresolved because it is so small. If the nucleus broke...

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Photographer creates portraits using Hubble images

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Photographer creates portraits using Hubble images

Artist Sergio Albiac has set out to prove we really are all stardust with an out-of-this world collection of portraits using images from the Hubble telescope. The Barcelona-based artist has created more than 11,000 mosaic portraits from a combination of images of deep space and photos sent in by the public. Albiac, a computer science engineer, has written software that produces portraits made up of stars and galaxies from a palette of shots from Hubble. See them all at Nigeria News. (Promise no million dollars waiting for you)

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