hst

Saturn’s Rings at Maximum Tilt

In March 2003, Saturn’s rings were at maximum tilt toward Earth, a special event occurring every 15 years. With the rings fully tilted, astronomers get the best views of the planet’s Southern Hemisphere. They took advantage of the rings’ unique alignment by using Hubble to capture some stunning images.

Credit: NASA, ESA, E. Karkoschka, G. Bacon (STScI)

Timelapse of Jupiter’s auroras

This timelapse video of the vivid auroras in Jupiter’s atmosphere was created using observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. Hubble is particularly suited to observing and studying the auroras on the biggest planet in the Solar System, as they are brightest in the ultraviolet.

Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Nichols

Note: Magnetic fields can be a fascinating subject. Hopefully, Juno can shed some light on curious configurations such as this June 30, 2016 HST release.
~ JN Ph, 7.5

Never lucky. Always prepared.

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Goddard Space Flight Center has published a beautiful photo gallery commemorating Hubble’s 25th anniversary. Goddard installed the telescope’s instruments as well as performed final pre-launch checkouts before being shipped towards NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for launch.

In the first and third images above, Hubble is seen undergoing testing at Goddard. The first photo is Hubble in the Vertical Assembly and Test Area and the second is Hubble undergoing final assembly at Lockheed Martin’s Sunnyvale, California plant.

For more on Hubble’s 25th anniversary, click here.

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Stephan’s Quintet

A Closer Look

This portrait of Stephan’s Quintet, also known as the Hickson Compact Group 92, was taken by the ‘new’ Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) aboard the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. Stephan’s Quintet, as the name implies, is a group of five galaxies. The name, however, is a bit of a misnomer. Studies have shown that group member NGC 7320, at upper left, is actually a foreground galaxy that is about seven times closer to Earth than the rest of the group. Read the rest here at spacetelescope.org

Click on the images for a little more details.

Credit: The fantastic Hubble Space Telescope and the incredible army of folks who make it all possible.

JN Ph7.5

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Happy 25 years to the Hubble Space Telescope! The largest orbital telescope ever launched was deployed on April 25, 1990, during the mission of STS-31 Discovery. Launch occurred the day prior, on 24 April.

Although the telescope’s optics were flawed upon arrival into orbit, Servicing Mission 1 installed corrective lenses that allowed the telescope to return some of the most spectacular imagery ever returned from space. 

The telescope is expected to be operational until at least the mid 2020′s.

flickr

Bubble Nebula by Hubble Heritage
Via Flickr:
For the 26th birthday of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers are highlighting a Hubble image of an enormous bubble being blown into space by a super-hot, massive star. The Hubble image of the Bubble Nebula, or NGC 7635, was chosen to mark the 26th anniversary of the launch of Hubble into Earth orbit by the STS-31 space shuttle crew on April 24, 1990. The Bubble Nebula is 7 light-years across — about one-and-a-half times the distance from our sun to its nearest stellar neighbor, Alpha Centauri. The Bubble Nebula was discovered in 1787 by William Herschel, a prominent British astronomer. It is being formed by a prototypical Wolf-Rayet star, an extremely bright, massive, and short-lived star that has lost most of its outer hydrogen and is now fusing helium into heavier elements. The star is about 4 million years old, and in 10 million to 20 million years, it will likely detonate as a supernova. 

Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) heritage.stsci.edu/2016/13/ hubbledev.stsci.edu/newscenter/archive/releases/2016/13/