For many years, the champions of Hubble lobbied NASA, the Congress, and the various Presidents to provide funding for a final space shuttle repair mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. A few of the key components had broken down over its long life span and an upgrade / repair would work wonders.
After much wrangling, the wishes were granted and STS-125 was scheduled and flew earlier this year. And now the mission is paying off. Just take a look at the spectacular picture below!
This picture shows the light spectrum from Eta Carinae, a truly massive star (100 times the size of Sol). You can see the signatures if the various elements plotted on the image. The jumbo “bubbles” on the sides of the star are gases that result from huge explosions from within. In other words, we should be glad we don’t live on a planet anywhere near here!
I’m looking forward to more great images and science from Hubble. And it can only get better with the JWST, which launches in 2014.
A few years ago, Mrs. Calrissian bought me a telescope. I get to use it every couple of weeks or so in the warm months. It’s nothing fancy, but it does its job of bringing the cosmos closer to home.
Yesterday, my daughter and I were doing a little moon and star hunting when one of the neighbor kids walked by. He was a teenager and headed to drop something off to another neighbor. Seeing us with the telescope, curiosity got the better of him:
“Yeah, you want to take a look?”
After I focused back in on the moon and let him have a look:
“Holy cow! I can’t believe it!”
All it takes is a little time. Maybe I just made a new convert out of him…
NOTE: While I wish I had something so amazing to take pictures, the one in this post is not mine. Thanks PopSci.