Hubble's Universe Unfiltered

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    Revisiting a Legend

    Hubble kicked off its 25th anniversary year with two stunning new views of the pillars in the Eagle Nebula.

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    Twenty-Five Years of Hubble

    2015 marks the 25th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope, and we are celebrating the remarkable history, ground-breaking discoveries, and awesome imagery of perhaps the most important telescope ever.

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    The Marvel of Gravitational Lensing

    Gravitational lensing takes the common ideas of a glass lens and transforms them to cosmic proportions.


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    A Black Hole Visits Baltimore

    What happens when a massive distortion in space-time comes to Baltimore's Inner Harbor for a crab feast? OK, we haven't got that crab part, but we can show you the visual distortions due to gravitational lensing.

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    How deep can the Hubble Deep Field peer into the past?

    The most distant objects Hubble has seen are just over 13 billion light-years away.

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    Gravitational Lensing in Action

    The visual distortions of gravitational lensing can be demonstrated using scientific simulations.

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    Visual "Proof" of General Relativity

    Gravitational lensing provides unmistakable and visually striking evidence for Einstein's general theory of relativity.

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    Einstein's Crazy Idea

    Einstein's general relativity uses the strange notion of curved space to reinterpret gravity, and explains things that Newton's version of gravity can't.

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    The Naming of Comets

    In a playful explanantion of the ways comets are named, I've adapted T. S. Eliot's poem "The Naming of Cats" for my own celestial purposes.

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    Update on Comet ISON from Mars

    The first images of Comet ISON taken from Mars are in. While they aren't spectacular to look at, they are scientifically quite useful.

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    Martian Encounter

    While Comet ISON may or may not develop into a spectacular sight from Earth, it most certainly will provide some intriguing observations from Mars.

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    The Edge of Space

    The edge of interstellar space and the borderline of the solar system sound like the same thing, but they are widely separated boundaries.

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    A Most Curious Solar Eclipse

    Solar eclipses are, in general, really cool events. But when NASA captures a solar eclipse from Mars, that's in the realm of awesomely amazing.

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    What fills the empty space between galaxies?

    What fills the space between galaxies? While it is "mostly" empty, the full answer involves an understanding of dark matter's dominant role in gravity and the cosmic web structure of the universe.

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    How do you think the Hubble Space Telescope affects the world today?

    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.

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    No Vacancy for Vulcans at Pluto

    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.

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    The Power of APOD

    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.

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    Will Hubble Observe the Recent Gamma-Ray Burst?

    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.

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    A Horse of a Different Color

    Although it appears as a dark cloud in optical light, the Horsehead Nebula transforms to a glowing landscape when seen in infrared light.

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    Which is the biggest star out there, if biggest means the greatest radius?

    The stars with the biggest radii are generally considered to be red supergiant stars.