Tag Archives | Hubble
David Perlman writes in the SF Chronicle:
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A puzzling object that seemed to be a comet flying inside the solar system’s asteroid belt is no comet at all, but the remains of a violent collision between two fossil rocks that populate the belt, astronomers say.
Captured in images by the Hubble Space Telescope, the crash of the asteroids provides scientists with their first opportunity to see clear evidence of the violent activity that has constantly churned the asteroid belt since its formation, probably when the planets themselves were forming about 4.5 billion years ago.
The object was first sighted in early January by astronomers at the Air Force LINEAR project telescope in New Mexico, who reported it as a comet that must have flown into the asteroid belt from the solar system’s outer reaches, as all comets do. It was the fifth presumed comet to be reported in the unlikely region, they said, and they gave it the code name P/2010 A2.
Jesus Diaz writes a very thought-provoking article on Gizmodo:
Hubble has discovered a mysterious X-shaped object traveling at 11,000mph. NASA says that P/2010-A2 may be a comet, product of the collision between two asteroids. Or a Klingon Bird of Prey. Either way, UCLA investigator David Jewitt is excited:
This is quite different from the smooth dust envelopes of normal comets. The filaments are made of dust and gravel, presumably recently thrown out of the nucleus. Some are swept back by radiation pressure from sunlight to create straight dust streaks. Embedded in the filaments are co-moving blobs of dust that likely originated from tiny unseen parent bodies.
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OK, David, we will believe you until Jerry Bruckheimer finish his next movie, in which a “comet” suddenly stops, turns to Earth, and starts firing anti-matter rays against our underpants.
The weirdest thing, however, is not only the prettyful X-shaped debris pattern, but the fact that its 460-foot-wide nucleus is outside the dust halo and separated from the trail.
On December 30, 1924, Hubble announced the discovery of a Cepheid, or variable star, in the Andromeda Nebulae. Since the work of Henrietta Leavitt had made it possible to calculate the distance to Cepheids, he calculated that this Cepheid was much further away than anyone had thought and that therefore the nebulae was not a gaseous cloud inside our galaxy, like so many nebulae, but in fact, a galaxy of stars just like the Milky Way. Only much further away. Until now, people believed that the only thing existing ouside the Milky Way were the Magellanic Clouds. The Universe was much bigger than had been previously presumed.If you're curious to see what the famous telescope named after him has been up to lately, check out: Hubble Sets an Eye on the Dawn of Time. Here's a video of Hubble's work found on YouTube:
Holy Haleakala! This picture is incredible. They pointed Hubble at a fairly empty region of space, one where very few stars are seen. Then they unleashed the new Wide Field Camera 3 (called WFC3 for short) on it, taking images in infrared wavelengths just outside what the human eye can see … and they let it stare at that spot for a solid 48 hours. The result? This picture, showing galaxies flippin’ everywhere, some seen a mere 600 million years after the Big Bang itself. Because the Universe is expanding, distant galaxies appear to recede from us, and their light gets stretched out. This Doppler Effect — the same thing that makes the sound of a car engine drop in pitch when it passes you at high speed — changes the colors we see from these far-flung galaxies, so their ultraviolet light, for example, gets stretched into visible and even infrared wavelengths. What you are seeing here is actually more energetic light emitted by galaxies that’s lost energy traveling across the expanding Universe, so by the time it gets here it’s infrared. So the colors are not "real" in this image; they’ve been translated into red, green, and blue so we can see them. The reddest objects in the image are most likely the farthest away, and may be as much as 13 billion light years away. Thirteen billion. With a B.