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Hubble

  1. Astronomers Found Some New Images of Planet Formation in Alien Star Systems in Old Hubble Data

    Hubble's been holding out on us.

    The Hubble Space Telescope's life may be winding down, but it's still got some fight left in it. Astronomers revisited some of Hubble's old data with new image processing techniques, and they discovered that Hubble had captured some previously unknown photos of the formation of planets around distant stars, so take a look at what they found.

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  2. New Technique Will Use Hubble’s Successor to Find Alien Life

    Unless there isn't any, which would be incredibly disappointing.

    The search for life on other planets is tough, because no matter how many alien worlds we discover, it's hard to know just which ones might have little facehuggers extraterrestrial organisms skittering around. Scientists have come up with a new method for spotting life-supporting planets, and all they need is Hubble's successor.

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  3. One Million Space Photos Animated in the Movie In Saturn’s Rings, Our Jaws Drop [Video]

    We suddenly feel very small.

    The film In Saturn's Rings takes over a million photographs from Cassini, Hubble, Voyager and more and turns them into an incredible animated ride through the universe. Sure, you've flown through pretend space plenty of times in movies, but when you watch this and realize that what you're seeing is real, it's spectacular.

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  4. Hubble Finds Space-Sperm, NASA Politely Dubs it a “Caterpillar”

    Whatever you call it, it's a stunning image.

    NASA released this image taken by the Hubble space telescope showing a cloud of gas stretching across a light year of space. That's huge. The official word from NASA is that it resembles "a caterpillar on its way to a feast," but I know space-sperm when I see it, and that right there is a six-trillion-mile-long space-sperm.

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  5. Breathtaking New Image Of Galaxy M106 Is Incredible, May Teach Us a Thing or Two About Black Holes

    This new image of galaxy Messier 106 (M106), a spiral galaxy about 20 million light years from our own, is a mosaic assembling images from the Hubble space Telescope's image archives and the libraries of amateur stargazers to produce a startlingly beautiful image that reveals some brand new information about the galaxy -- for example, that this spiral galaxy has four arms, rather than the customary two.

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  6. Hubble Eyes Slivery, Razor-Thin Galaxy

    As a special Christmas gift to those of us who are still watching the skies on federally mandated holidays, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has snapped this great photo of galaxy IC 2233, one of the flattest galaxies known to astronomers. Where most spiral galaxies have a thick bulge of material towards their center, IC 2233 is instead a super-thin galaxy, looking almost like a flat plane of stars when viewed from the side.

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  7. Hubble Finds New Most Distant Object, Reminds Us the Universe is Still Enormous

    The Universe is crazy big, everybody. How big? So big that the Hubble Telescope just found a new candidate for the title of Most Distant Object in the Universe. That object is MACS0647-JD, a galaxy far, far away. It's so far away from us, in fact,  that we can't even measure the distance in lightyears. Instead, we have to measure it in redshift, and this galaxy's redshift goes all the way up to 11.

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  8. Hubble Spots New Red Galaxy, Perfect Example of Cosmic Middle Age

    This is NGC 5010, a dusty, lenticular galaxy in the constellation Virgo and the latest to be discovered by the Hubble Space Telescope. While the red and yellow colors of NGC 5010 make it look vibrant and active, those looks are deceiving -- the galaxy is mostly done forming stars, and with its best years behind it, is a great example of a galaxy transitioning from mid-life to old age.

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  9. A Space Snow Angel

    NASA's Hubble captured this shot of the star-forming region, Sharpless 2-106, which happens to look pretty similar to a snow angel. NASA explains that twin lobes of super-hot gas stretch outward from the central star, creating what looks like snow angel wings. Even space is telling you to have a happy holiday season, so do it. You don't want to let space down, do you?

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  10. Space Telescope Protectected by SPF 1,000,000 Shield

    Though it is still two to three years away from launch, the James Webb Space Telescope is shaping up to be a technological wonder. Once in place, it will be the first optical telescope in orbit and will sport a primary mirror six times larger than that of the Hubble, seeing further and clearer using infrared optics. But to do all that, the Webb telescope will use a massive sunshield the size of a tennis court. The Webb sunshield will consist of five separate layers of Kapton, folded at launch and then stretched over 20 x 12 meters. The mutliple layers of this strong, durable film are what give the sunshield its amazing properties:
    Once on orbit, the sunshield creates a 330 K (243°F to -351°F) temperature differential between the hottest and coldest layers. Using multiple separated layers allows most of a layer’s heat to radiate to space before it reaches the next one creating a substantial temperature drop from one layer to the next.
    All together, these layers give the sunshield an effective Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 1,000,000, according to the Deputy Project Manager for the telescope, John Durning. Such protection is necessary as the onboard infrared systems are sensitive to heat, and must be kept at very low temperatures -- under -370 F, or 50 K. Though the pictures from visible light telescopes are beautiful, many are limited because the visible spectrum of light cannot penetrate the dust and gas that floats around the galaxy. With the Webb telescope, scientist will see some of the oldest, most distant stars thanks to infrared imaging, giving them a better understanding of the Universe's origins. (NASA, Webb Telescope via The Universe Today)

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