The innermost lane may typically be favored to win a race, but in Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, the winds in its outermost “lane” are taking the lead! Only Hubble can spot these trends: The observatory acts like a storm tracker for the giant planets in our solar system every year.
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.
Fast and furious—that’s how six massive galaxies in the early universe lived before they literally ran out of gas, shut down star formation, and died. These images are composites from Hubble and ALMA.
Hubble astronomers are predicting that the fading light from a distant supernova will be rebroadcast in 16 years. This future appearance will be the fourth known view of the same exploded star, dubbed Supernova Requiem.
Astronomers using Hubble have uncovered burned-out stars that look younger than they really are. After the nuclear furnaces at their cores shut down, the stars continue burning leftover hydrogen on their surface.
Astronomers who used the Hubble telescope to watch comet ATLAS disintegrate into a cascade of icy fragments in mid-2020, now believe it came from a parent comet that swung by the Sun 5,000 years ago.
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.
These early snapshots demonstrate Hubble’s return to full science operations, following correction of a computer anomaly aboard the spacecraft. Normal science observations were restarted on July 17, at 1:18 pm EDT.
Hubble astronomers say they confirmed that an oddball
galaxy mysteriously lacks dark matter—the glue that holds stars and gas together in galaxies. This confirmation challenges the standard ideas of how researchers think galaxies work.
The magnificent spiral galaxy NGC 2276 looks a bit lopsided in this Hubble Space Telescope snapshot. A bright hub of older yellowish stars normally lies directly in the center of most spiral galaxies. But the bulge in NGC 2276 looks offset to the upper left.
Astronomers are on the trail of one of the universe’s most enigmatic events: powerful bursts of radio waves that disappear in the blink of an eye. Using Hubble, they have traced the radio bursts to the spiral arms of distant galaxies.
Researchers using Hubble directly measured the mass growth rate of PDS 70b for the first time by using the observatory’s unique ultraviolet sensitivities to capture radiation from extremely hot gas falling onto the planet.
Hubble is marking its 31st anniversary in orbit with this image of a “celebrity star.” AG Carinae is one of the brightest stars seen in our Milky Way galaxy, encircled by a glowing halo of gas and dust.
Astronomers are “seeing double,” uncovering two close pairs of ancient quasars that reside at the centers of merging galaxies. These brilliant light beacons are powered by supermassive black holes feeding on material, unleashing a torrent of radiation.
These four Hubble images reveal the chaotic birth of stars in the Orion complex, the nearest major star-forming region to Earth. Astronomers found that the cavities in the surrounding gas cloud sculpted by a forming star’s outflow did not grow regularly as they matured, as theories propose.
Scientists using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have found evidence that a planet orbiting a distant star may have lost its atmosphere but gained a second one through volcanic activity.
Hubble astronomers are investigating the dimming of one of the most colossal stars ever seen, VY Canis Majoris. Big enough to swallow our solar system out to Saturn’s orbit, the faded star is expelling huge dust clouds late in its life.
Hubble snapped this image of the young comet-like object P/2019 LD2 as it orbits near Jupiter’s captured ancient asteroids, which are called Trojans. The icy object is the first comet astronomers have spotted near the Trojan population.
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…
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.
Hubble astronomers have retraced the expanding gaseous debris from a nearby exploded star to estimate the location and time of the stellar detonation. Their analysis reveals that the light from the supernova blast reached Earth about 1,700 years ago.
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.
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.
Using images from the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered that the Stingray Nebula, the youngest planetary nebula in our sky, has faded dramatically over the course of just 20 years. If dimming continues at current rates, in 20 or 30 years the Stingray Nebula will be barely perceptible.
This Hubble image of a disk of material feeding a monster black hole in nearby galaxy IC 5063 may be casting its shadow into space. The shadow is interspersed with bright rays that extend across the galaxy. This unique effect offers insight into the structure of the disk.
Following up on an enormous gamma ray burst detected by Swift in May, Hubble astronomers believe they’ve viewed the glow of a kilonova, the aftermath of a colossal explosion caused by the merger of two neutron stars that formed a magnetar. The near-infrared emission seen by Hubble was 10 times brighter than predicted.
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.
This new Hubble photo resembling a Halloween carved pumpkin features the early stages of a collision between two galaxies. The “pumpkin’s” glowing “eyes” are the bright, star-filled cores of each galaxy that contain supermassive black holes. An arm of newly forming stars give the imaginary gourd a wry smirk.
Hubble Space Telescope images have been assembled into a time-lapse video of an exploding star fading into oblivion inside a distant galaxy. The video compresses one-year’s worth of observations into seconds. When it exploded the supernova was as bright as 5 billion Suns.
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.
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 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.
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.
Hubble photographed Saturn and its rings on July 4, during summer in Saturn’s northern hemisphere. This image is taken as part of the Outer Planets Atmospheres Legacy (OPAL) project. OPAL is helping scientists understand the atmospheric dynamics and evolution of our solar system’s gas giant planets.
Bizarre white dwarf star shows evidence of a ‘partial supernova’ in observations using the Hubble Space Telescope, led by University of Warwick astronomers
Astronomers created a stunning new image showing celestial fireworks in star cluster G286.21+0.17.
A disk around a young star is casting a huge shadow resembling a pair of wings on a distant cloud. In 2018, Hubble astronomers nicknamed the phenomenon the Bat Shadow. Now, they see those “wings” flapping!
New images from the Hubble Space Telescope have helped researchers identify rapid changes in material blasting off stars at the centers of two planetary nebulas NGC 6302 and NGC 7027— causing them to reconsider what is happening at their cores.
Not long ago, the center of our galaxy exploded. Our primitive ancestors, already afoot in Africa, probably saw the resulting flare. Now Hubble detects that flash’s signature in a huge tail of gas orbiting the galaxy some 200,000 light-years away.
When it comes to the best region to form planets, it’s all about location. Planets in the nearby star cluster Westerlund 2 may have a rough time forming in the crowded core. Astronomers using Hubble find that energy from hefty stars is blowing away planet-forming dust clouds from smaller stars.
Like crystal balls for the universe’s deeper mysteries, galaxies and other massive space objects can serve as lenses to more distant objects and phenomena along the same path, bending light in revelatory ways. Gravitational lensing was first theorized by Albert…
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.
Combined observations of WASP-79b from Hubble and other telescopes reveal a weird super-hot planet where the sky is yellow instead of blue due to lack of an atmospheric effect called Rayleigh scattering, which makes Earth’s sky blue.
This pair of Hubble photos of comet C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS), taken on April 20 and 23, 2020, provide the sharpest views yet of the breakup of the solid nucleus of the comet. Hubble distinguishes as many as 30 pieces that are roughly the size of a house.
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.
Zooming through space, the first bonafide interstellar comet discovered passing through our solar system is yielding chemical clues to its origin. An abundance of carbon monoxide contained in comet Borisov suggests it was born around a cool red dwarf star.
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.
A team of astronomers have found the best evidence yet that the culprit in a stellar homicide is a mid-sized black hole, the long-sought “missing link” in the black hole family. Multiple lines of evidence pointed to the elusive type of black hole, including investigations using Hubble and Chandra.
A team of astronomers using Hubble have found the most energetic outflows ever witnessed in the universe. These outflows emanate from quasars and tear across interstellar space like tsunamis, wreaking havoc on the galaxies in which the quasars live.
A team of researchers designed a computer algorithm based on slime mold behavior to generate a filamentary map of the universe, which they then confirmed with archival observations from the Hubble Space Telescope.