steorra: Jupiter's moon Europa (europa)
[personal profile] steorra
A fifth moon of Pluto has been discovered.

Here is a Hubble Space Telescope press release.

And here is an article from Sky and Telescope.
steorra: Part of Saturn in the shade of its rings (Default)
[personal profile] steorra
So, a few days ago, Dawn entered orbit around Vesta, and is now slowly spiralling in towards its intended science orbit. Already it has sent back some pictures that show interesting amounts of detail: this one from July 17 (press release for the image) and this one from July 18 (press release for the image).

Both pictures largely show the south polar terrain, where a large impact is believed to have taken quite a chunk off of Vesta; in the middle of the south polar terrain is a large peak.

What catches my attention is the texture of the south polar terrain. There are a lot of grooves and ridges that I suppose were probably formed in some way by the impact. There are craters on it, but it's not thoroughly cratered, which ought to indicate that it's not very very old. (It would be nice to see how cratered the rest of Vesta appears, for comparison, but the pictures we have so far don't show that very well; you can see a bit of the non-south-polar terrain in the July 17 picture.)

Pluto's moons
On Wednesday, the discovery of a fourth moon orbiting Pluto was announced! It was discovered with the Hubble Space Telescope.
dancinglights: (stardust star  by lj mawf.)
[personal profile] dancinglights
Many NASA employees and space fans are already waiting out the countdown to May 11, the current launch date for the final servicing mission for the Hubble Space Telescope. Through their own media publications and social networking sites, the folks at NASA are offering an unprecedented public view of the mission from prep to spacewalks, mostly via the internet.

* Mike Massimino, an astronaut and mission specialist for Servicing Mission 4, has a twitter account broadcasting the crew's prep for the mission.

* There is a facebook page for updates to the mission, with quite a lot of video content shared by NASA.

* Broadcasts of the spacewalks will be available in HD on the NASA television cable channel in the US and also on an official YouTube channel.

* Finally, NASA has its own web page with lots of technical information on the hardware being installed and replaced.

This linkfest brought to you by the fact that I am getting antsy at work with the countdown myself, and hope to post shiny Hubble articles once it all goes well. Hello.
kajivar: (Muse // Urania Telescope)
[personal profile] kajivar
Free Image Hosting at

Over the past 19 years Hubble has taken dozens of exotic pictures of galaxies going "bump in the night" as they collide with each other and have a variety of close encounters of the galactic kind. Just when you thought these interactions couldn't look any stranger, this image of a trio of galaxies, called Arp 194, looks like one of the galaxies has sprung a leak. The bright blue streamer is really a stretched spiral arm full of newborn blue stars. This typically happens when two galaxies interact and gravitationally tug at each other.

Resembling a pair of owl eyes, the two nuclei of the colliding galaxies can be seen in the process of merging at the upper left. The blue bridge looks like it connects to a third galaxy. In reality the galaxy is in the background and not connected at all. Hubble's sharp view allows astronomers to try and visually sort out what are foreground and background objects when galaxies, superficially, appear to overlap. This picture was issued to celebrate the 19th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope aboard the space shuttle Discovery in 1990. During the past 19 years Hubble has made more than 880,000 observations and snapped over 570,000 images of 29,000 celestial objects.




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