Hubble Snapshot of ‘Molten Ring’ Galaxy Prompts New Research

In this image, a remote galaxy is greatly magnified and distorted by the effects of gravitationally warped space. After its public release, astronomers used the picture to measure the galaxy’s distance of 9.4 billion light-years. This places the galaxy at the peak epoch of star formation in cosmic evolution.

Hubble Finds First Evidence of Water Vapor at Jupiter’s Moon Ganymede

Located ½-billion miles from the Sun, the water ice on Ganymede’s surface is frozen solid in frigid temperatures as low as minus 300 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes the ice as hard as rock. Still, a rain of charged particles from the Sun is enough to turn the ice into water vapor at high noon on Ganymede. This is the first time such evidence has been found, courtesy of the Hubble Space Telescope’s spectroscopic observations of aurora on Ganymede spanning two decades. The auroras are used to trace the presence of oxygen, which then is linked to the presence of water molecules sputtering off the surface. Ganymede has a deep ocean located an estimated 100 miles below the surface.

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss James Webb Space Telescope Science

New Brunswick, N.J. (Feb. 22, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor Kristen McQuinn is available for interviews on the upcoming launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, its potential scientific impact and the leap forward it will provide in our understanding of the…

Hubble Uncovers Concentration of Small Black Holes

Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope in their hunt for a massive black hole at the heart of the globular cluster NGC 6397 found something they weren’t expecting: a concentration of smaller black holes lurking there instead. This is a new twist on the search for intermediate-mass black holes. They are the long-sought “missing link” between supermassive black holes and stellar-mass black holes.

Dark Storm on Neptune Reverses Direction, Possibly Shedding a Fragment

A giant dark storm on Neptune heading for certain doom at the equator mysteriously halted its journey and began drifting in the opposite direction. Almost simultaneously, another smaller dark spot appeared nearby, only to vanish months later. Hubble astronomers are presenting these findings today at the Fall 2020 American Geophysical Union meeting.

Hubble Pins Down Weird Exoplanet with Far-Flung Orbit

Astronomers analyzing Hubble images of the double star, HD 106906, have discovered a planet in a huge 15,000-year-long orbit that sweeps it as far from its stellar duo as Planet Nine would be from our Sun. This is observational evidence that similarly far-flung worlds may exist around other stars. Researchers hypothesize that the planet wound up there in a game of planetary pinball where the gravitational pull of a passing star modified the orbit’s shape.

Hubble Launches Large Ultraviolet-Light Survey of Nearby Stars

This is a ground-based telescopic photo of the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of our Milky Way. The LMC is one of several select targets of a new initiative with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, called ULLYSES (UV Legacy Library of Young Stars as Essential Standards). The program is looking at over 300 stars to build an ultraviolet-light catalog for capturing the diversity of stars, from young to old, to give astronomers a much better understanding of the birth of stars and how this relates to everything from planets to the formation and evolution of galaxies.

Hubble Captures Crisp New Portrait of Jupiter’s Storms

More massive than all the other planets combined, Jupiter truly is the king of our solar system. The swirling clouds, arranged in colorful, banded structures, change from year to year. The rich colors are produced by trace compounds in Jupiter’s predominantly hydrogen/helium atmosphere. Hurricane-force winds propel these clouds, and upwelling currents are ablaze with lightning bolts far more powerful than those seen on Earth.

The Hubble Space Telescope serves as a “weather satellite” for monitoring Jupiter’s stormy weather. The iconic Great Red Spot, a storm big enough to swallow Earth, shows that it’s shrinking a little in the Hubble images, but it still dominates the entire southern atmosphere, plowing through the clouds like a cargo ship.

Hubble astronomers patiently wait to get close-up snapshots as Earth make its nearest annual approach to Jupiter – an astronomical alignment called an opposition, when Jupiter is on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun.

Hubble Observations Suggest a Missing Ingredient in Dark Matter Theories

Astronomers using Hubble and the VLT have found that something may be missing from the theories of how dark matter behaves. This missing ingredient may explain why they have uncovered an unexpected discrepancy between observations of the dark matter concentrations in a sample of massive galaxy clusters and theoretical computer simulations of how dark matter should be distributed in clusters. The new findings indicate that small-scale concentrations of dark matter produce lensing effects that are 10 times stronger than expected.

Hubble Finds that Betelgeuse’s Mysterious Dimming Is Due to a Traumatic Outburst

Hubble Space Telescope observations show that the unexpected dimming of supergiant star Betelgeuse was probably caused by an immense amount of hot plasma ejected into space. The plasma cooled, forming a dust cloud that blocked starlight coming from Betelgeuse’s surface.

Hubble Uses Earth as a Proxy for Identifying Oxygen on Potentially Habitable Planets Around Other Stars

Astronomers used Hubble during a total lunar eclipse to detect ozone in our planet’s atmosphere by looking at Earthlight reflected off the Moon in ultraviolet wavelengths. This method serves as a proxy for how astronomers will observe Earth-like exoplanets in search of life.

Telescopes and Spacecraft Join Forces to Probe Deep into Jupiter’s Atmosphere

Thanks to the teamwork of the Hubble Space Telescope, the Gemini Observatory, and the Juno spacecraft, scientists are able to probe deep into Jupiter’s storm systems and investigate sources of lightning outbursts, map cyclonic vortices, and unravel the nature of enigmatic features within the Great Red Spot.

Extrasolar Planet Apparently Disappears in Latest Hubble Observations

Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have come to the jaw-dropping conclusion that a planet orbiting another star has seemingly disappeared after appearing in several years’ worth of Hubble images. A team of astronomers from the University of Arizona believe this is forensic evidence of a titanic collision between two asteroid-sized bodies orbiting a nearby star, Fomalhaut.

Celebrating 30 Years of Hubble: Discoveries Continue to Wow Scientists, Public

Peering into the darkness to see what we could not previously see, the Hubble Space Telescope has been delighting scientists and the general public with revealing details and images of galaxies and celestial phenomena. The American Institute of Physics recognizes and celebrates the momentous occasion of the 30th anniversary of its launch and Physics Today is highlighting the anniversary in its April issue with a look back at the history of the telescope and analysis of Hubble’s discoveries over the past 30 years.