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Hubble Space Telescope
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Join Hubble's journey of cosmic discovery.
Join Hubble's journey of cosmic discovery.

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By combining Hubble’s ultraviolet capability with infrared and visible-light data from Hubble and other space- and ground-based telescopes, scientists have just assembled one of the most comprehensive portraits of the universe’s evolutionary history. Because Earth’s atmosphere filters most ultraviolet light, Hubble can provide some of the most sensitive space-based ultraviolet observations possible, revealing new details about star birth and galaxy evolution. Read more: http://hubblesite.org/news_release/news/2018-35
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As Saturn and Mars ventured close to Earth, Hubble captured their portraits in June and July 2018, respectively. The telescope photographed the planets near opposition, when the Sun, Earth and an outer planet are lined up, with Earth sitting in between the Sun and the outer planet. Around the time of opposition, a planet is at its closest distance to Earth in its orbit. Hubble viewed Saturn on June 6, when the ringed world was approximately 1.36 billion miles from Earth, as it approached a June 27 opposition. Mars was captured on July 18, at just 36.9 million miles from Earth, near its July 27 opposition. Hubble saw the planets during summertime in Saturn’s northern hemisphere and springtime in Mars’ southern hemisphere. The increase in sunlight in Saturn’s northern hemisphere heated the atmosphere and triggered a large storm that is now disintegrating in Saturn’s northern polar region. On Mars, a spring dust storm erupted in the southern hemisphere and ballooned into a global event enshrouding the entire planet. http://hubblesite.org/news_release/news/2018-29
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The universe is rapidly and uniformly expanding—but how fast remains a subject of debate. Now, combining the power of the Hubble and Gaia space telescopes, astronomers have made the most precise measurement to date of the universe’s expansion rate.These results further fuel the mismatch between measurements for the expansion rate of the nearby universe, and those of the distant, primeval universe—before stars and galaxies even existed. This so-called “tension” implies that there could be new physics underlying the foundations of the universe. http://hubblesite.org/news_release/news/2018-34
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The mysterious interstellar visitor 'Oumuamua is acting more like a comet than an asteroid. http://hubblesite.org/news_release/news/2018-25
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Helium is the second most common element in the universe, and is expected to be a major component of gaseous planets. Astronomers using Hubble have detected helium on an exoplanet for the first time. Helium is streaming away from WASP-107b to form a comet-like tail as that planet is roasted in a tight orbit around its star.
WASP-107b, shown in this artist’s conception, is one of the puffiest planets known. It has a diameter like Jupiter’s but weighs only one-tenth as much. Read more: http://hubblesite.org/news_release/news/2018-26
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Seventeen years ago, astronomers witnessed a supernova go off in the galaxy called NGC 7424, located 40 million light-years away in the southern constellation Grus, the Crane. Now, in the fading afterglow of that explosion, Hubble has captured the first image of a surviving companion to a supernova. This picture is compelling evidence that some supernovas originate in double-star systems.
The companion to the supernova’s progenitor star was no innocent bystander to the explosion. It siphoned off almost all of the hydrogen from the doomed star’s outer layers. As a result, the supernova, called SN 2001ig, is categorized as a Type IIb supernova. Read more: http://hubblesite.org/news_release/news/2018-20
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Seeing the first galaxies is difficult. Seeing individual first stars is impossible, even for the James Webb Space Telescope—unless it gets a little boost from Einstein. New research suggests that gravitational lensing by a cluster like Abell 2744, pictured here, could bring the first stars into the realm of visibility. Read more: http://webbtelescope.org/articles/2018-23
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Last week, we shared Hubble’s visible-light portrait of the Lagoon Nebula, taken to celebrate 28 years in space. Today, we present Hubble’s near-infrared photo of the Lagoon, which offers a very different view and provides a sneak peek at the dramatic vistas the James Webb Space Telescope will offer.

An abundance of stars fill the field of view. Most of them are more distant, background stars located behind the nebula itself. However, some of these pinpricks of light are young stars within the Lagoon Nebula. Dark smudges known as Bok globules mark the thickest parts of the nebula. While Hubble cannot penetrate these dusty clumps, Webb will be able to see through them. Learn more: http://hubblesite.org/image/4151/news_release/2018-21
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Can you believe that Hubble has been in space for 28 years? To celebrate, we’re releasing this stunning view of the Lagoon Nebula, also known as M8. At the center of the photo, a monster young star 200,000 times brighter than our Sun is blasting powerful ultraviolet radiation and hurricane-like stellar winds, carving out a landscape of ridges, cavities, and mountains of gas and dust. This region epitomizes a typical, raucous stellar nursery full of creation and destruction.

This view highlights glowing oxygen gas (blue), hydrogen (green) and nitrogen (red). For more information and some Hubble trivia, visit http://hubblesite.org/news_release/news/2018-21
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Messier 96, a spiral galaxy, resembles a giant maelstrom of glowing gas, rippled with dark dust that swirls inward toward the nucleus.

M96 was discovered in 1781 by Charles Messier’s colleague Pierre Méchain. Although it is located 35 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Leo, you can observe it easily using a medium-sized telescope this month. https://go.nasa.gov/2oTTNrM #NotaComet #HubbleMessierObjects #AstronomyHistory
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