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e-book Enhancing Hubbles Vision Service: Missions That Expanded Our View of the Universe

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Description This book tells the story of the four missions to maintain Hubble's successful operation. It draws on first hand interviews with those closely involved in the project. Add to Basket Sign in to add to wishlist.

Also by David J. Around the World in 84 Days. Soviet and Russian Lunar Exploration. Gemini Flies! Each tail represents an episode in which the asteroid gently shed its material — key evidence that Gault is beginning to come apart. Gault is located million miles million kilometers from the Sun.

Of the roughly , known asteroids between Mars and Jupiter, astronomers estimate that this type of event in the asteroid belt is rare, occurring roughly once a year. All the large grains about the size of sand particles are close to the object and the smallest grains about the size of flour grains are the farthest away because they are being pushed fastest by pressure from sunlight.

When sunlight heats an asteroid, infrared radiation escaping from its warmed surface carries off angular momentum as well as heat. This process creates a tiny torque that can cause the asteroid to continually spin faster. The researchers estimate that Gault could have been slowly spinning up for more than million years. Figure This Hubble Space Telescope image reveals the gradual self-destruction of an asteroid, whose ejected dusty material has formed two long, thin, comet-like tails. The longer tail stretches more than , miles , km and is roughly 3, miles 4, km wide. The shorter tail is about a quarter as long.

Meech and J. Kleyna University of Hawaii , and O. Hainaut European Southern Observatory ]. All-sky surveys, ground-based telescopes, and space-based facilities like the Hubble Space Telescope pooled their efforts to make this discovery possible. An analysis of both tails suggests the two dust events occurred around Oct.

The tails will begin fading away in a few months as the dust disperses into interplanetary space. Unlike spiral galaxies , which have a well-defined structure and boast picturesque spiral arms, elliptical galaxies appear fairly smooth and featureless. This is likely why this galaxy, named Messier 49, was discovered by French astronomer Charles Messier in At a distance of 56 million light-years, and measuring , light-years across, M49 was the first member of the Virgo Cluster of galaxies to be discovered, and it is more luminous than any other galaxy at its distance or nearer.

Messier 49 itself is very yellow, which indicates that the stars within it are mostly older and redder than the Sun. In fact, the last major episode of star formation was about six billion years ago — before the Sun was even born! On average, these clusters are 10 billion years old.

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Messier 49 is also known to host a supermassive black hole at its centre with the mass of more than million Suns, identifiable by the X-rays pouring out from the heart of the galaxy as this Hubble image comprises infrared observations, these X-rays are not visible here. Blakenslee, P Cote et al. Figure This artist's impression shows a computer generated model of the Milky Way and the accurate positions of the globular clusters used in this study surrounding it. Scientists used the measured velocities of these 44 globular clusters to determine the total mass of the Milky Way, our cosmic home.

However, despite decades of intense effort, even the best available estimates of the Milky Way's mass disagree wildly. Note: Globular clusters formed prior to the construction of the Milky Way's spiral disk, where our Sun and the Solar System later formed. Because of their great distances, globular star clusters allow astronomers to trace the mass of the vast envelope of dark matter surrounding our galaxy far beyond the spiral disk.

However, we were able to also measure the sideways motion of the clusters, from which the total velocity, and consequently the galactic mass, can be calculated.

BALL AEROSPACE - 2009 The Hubble Space Telescope Repair Highlight Video

However, in astronomy most often only line-of-sight velocities are available. With only one component of the velocity available, the estimated masses depend very strongly on the assumptions for the sideway motions. Therefore measuring the sideway motions directly significantly reduces the size of the error bars for the mass. Gaia was designed to create a precise three-dimensional map of astronomical objects throughout the Milky Way and to track their motions.

Its second data release includes measurements of globular clusters as far as 65, light-years from Earth. Observations from Hubble allowed faint and distant globular clusters, as far as , light-years from Earth, to be added to the study. As Hubble has been observing some of these objects for a decade, it was possible to accurately track the velocities of these clusters as well. The dark matter content of a galaxy and its distribution are intrinsically linked to the formation and growth of structures in the Universe. Accurately determining the mass for the Milky Way gives us a clearer understanding of where our galaxy sits in a cosmological context.


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The final tests were conducted and the instrument was brought back to its operational mode on March 6. The error indicated that software inside the camera had not loaded correctly in a small section of computer memory. The Hubble operations team ran repeated tests to reload the memory and check the entire process. No errors have been detected since the initial incident, and it appears that all circuits, computer memory and processors that are part of that boot process are now operating normally.

The instrument has now been brought back to its standard operating mode for normal operations. More than 5, peer-reviewed scientific papers have been published from its data, and it is credited with some of Hubble's most iconic images, including the Hubble Ultra Deep Field , the furthest look into the universe at that time.

Hubble's greatest hits – Physics World

With its primary and backup systems, it is expected that Hubble will operate simultaneously with the upcoming JWST James Webb Space Telescope to obtain multiwavelength observations of astronomical objects. Scheduled to launch in , the JWST is designed to see near- and mid-infrared light while Hubble is optimized for ultraviolet and visible light. The error indicated that software inside the camera had not loaded correctly. A team of instrument system engineers, flight software experts, and flight operations personnel quickly organized to download and analyze instrument diagnostic information.

This team is currently working to identify the root cause and then to construct a recovery plan. There are no critical observations using the ACS scheduled for the remainder of this week or next week, and the observations that were planned over the next two weeks can be easily rescheduled.

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The final servicing mission in , expected to extend Hubble's lifetime an additional five years, has now produced more than nine years of science observations. During that servicing mission, astronauts repaired the ACS, installed in , after its power supply failed in They are spherical groups of stars which orbit the center of a galaxy; in the case of NGC , that galaxy is the Milky Way. As the stars in a globular cluster all formed at around the same time, they tend to display reasonably homogeneous properties.

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It was believed that this similarity also extended to the stellar helium content; that is, it was thought that all stars in a globular cluster would contain comparable amounts of helium. This surprising globular cluster turns out to be made up of two separate populations of red giant stars, one of which is unusually helium-rich. Other elements within the different stars in NGC vary too — nitrogen in particular. On top of this, these helium-rich stars were found to be predominantly in the center of the globular cluster, and to be rotating.

These observations have raised questions about the formation of globular clusters; did these two drastically different groups of stars form together? Or did this globular cluster come into being by a different route entirely? Larsen et al. Normally, a moon like Proteus should have gravitationally swept aside or swallowed the smaller moon while clearing out its orbital path.

Hippocamp is likely a chipped-off piece of the larger moon that resulted from a collision with a comet billions of years ago. Many billions of years ago, Neptune captured the large moon Triton from the Kuiper Belt, a large region of icy and rocky objects beyond the orbit of Neptune. Triton's gravity would have torn up Neptune's original satellite system. Triton settled into a circular orbit and the debris from shattered Neptunian moons re-coalesced into a second generation of natural satellites.

However, comet bombardment continued to tear things up, leading to the birth of Hippocamp, which might be considered a third-generation satellite. Olmsted STScI ].


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The scientific name for the seahorse is Hippocampus, also the name of an important part of the human brain. The rules of the International Astronomical Union require that the moons of Neptune are named after Greek and Roman mythology of the undersea world. Figure Neptune's inner Moons and their diameters.

This diagram shows the orbital positions of Neptune's inner moons, which range in size from 20 to miles across. The outer moon Triton was captured from the Kuiper belt many billions of years ago. This would have torn up Neptune's original satellite system.