For professional astronomy, Hubble is one of the premier facilities for research. Its science impact is immense. However, astronomy is not a science with immediate societal benefit. Our discoveries do not directly change daily life, though our work has had numerous long-term benefits.
Three direct detections of planets around other stars are revisited, providing confirmation, archival data, and spirited debate.
Two moons of Pluto/Charon discovered by Hubble in 2011 and 2012, previously designated P4 and P5, have been given the official names of Kerberos and Styx. The internet-favorite name, Vulcan, was not chosen because it has already been used in astronomy as the name of a hypothetical planet between Mercury and the Sun.
The future of space astronomy is a telescope that combines the exquisite resolution of Hubble with the infrared wavelengths of Spitzer. The James Webb Space Telescope will launch in 2018 and push back the frontiers of astronomy.
When one of my old visualizations was featured on Astronomy Picture of the Day, I was pleased and bemused to revisit it through the eyes of those seeing it anew. It also showed how viral APOD's reach can be, in the vast number of YouTube hits in one day.
Quickly after its discovery, gamma-ray burst GRB 130427A has been observed by a multitude of telescopes. The Hubble Space Telescope is sometimes employed to follow-up astronomical discoveries, but only when Hubble provides a clear science advantage over other telescopes.
Although it appears as a dark cloud in optical light, the Horsehead Nebula transforms to a glowing landscape when seen in infrared light.
The stars with the biggest radii are generally considered to be red supergiant stars.
Crash of the Titans: Our Milky Way Galaxy will encounter the neighboring Andromeda Galaxy in about 4 billion years. Hubble measurements have shown it will be a head-on crash.
Discussing astronomy discoveries with the public can be much more effective with the proper astronomical presentation software.
The JWST STEM Innovation Project engages students' creative and artistic energies in exploring the science and technology behind NASA's next Great Observatory.
The full-scale model of the James Webb Space Telescope is on display in Austin, Texas, and we're there to showcase the technology and the science of the mission.
In order to observe the most distant objects in the universe, one needs two things: very fine resolution and very long exposures. Hubble has done a few deep images looking across the universe — unveiling some dramatic findings. To call these observations mind-bending is an understatement.
While it may seem that the astronomy community's views on Pluto changed radically with its reclassification in 2006, the truth is that our understanding of Pluto has always been shifting. We now comprehend Pluto's place within the solar system, and the exploration of that region has really just begun.
When a survey of a star-forming region found a star 90 times as massive as the Sun, located hundreds of light-years from its home, and speeding by at a quarter of a million miles per hour — well, that's a surprise that's worth investigating a bit further.
In Hubble's first 20 years in orbit, it has taken many thousands of images and observations that have awed astronomers and non-astronomers alike. To commemorate Hubble's 20th anniversary, we select 20 Hubble images that represent the telescope's scientific accomplishments and its impact on the public's imagination.
In 2002, star V838 Monocerotis brightened dramatically in a mysterious outburst, allowing Hubble to capture a series of images of the dust and gas around the star.
Hubble is back after its May 2009 servicing mission with new pictures that show off its expanded capabilities. Find out what these new images imply for the future of Hubble astronomy.
The winner of "Hubble's Next Discovery — You Decide!" contest, chosen as a Hubble target by the public, was galaxy group Arp 274. The first-ever Hubble image of the galaxy trio has a surprise in store.
In May 2009, astronauts aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis visited Hubble for the last manned mission to the observatory. A series of ambitious spacewalks readied the telescope for the future.