Happy 29th Anniversary to Hubble!

Each year, we celebrate the April 24, 1990, launch of the Hubble Space Telescope with a special observation. This year, for the 29th Anniversary, we wanted to highlight the combination of imaging and spectroscopy that underlies the astronomical research results. The target chosen to illustrate these ideas is the Southern Crab Nebula. This symmetric gas... Continue Reading →

Angular Resolution and What Hubble Can’t See

The crisp, stunning images from the Hubble Space Telescope are a wonder to behold. As one can see in the image comparison below, Hubble's views are significantly higher resolution than similar images obtained by ground-based observatories. Terrestrial telescopes must look through Earth's atmosphere, which blurs the view and limits their resolution. Orbiting above Earth's atmosphere,... Continue Reading →

Two Tales of an Asteroid

The Hubble Space Telescope recently observed an asteroid in the process of falling apart. Known as 6478 Gault, located in the main asteroid belt of our solar system between Mars and Jupiter, and roughly 2.5 miles wide, this asteroid is rotating so fast—about once every 2 hours—that it is literally flinging itself apart. The observations... Continue Reading →

Zolt’s Favorite Images

A personal gallery I have been involved with the Hubble Space Telescope mission and the Space Telescope Science Institute for more than 35 years, a long time to be at one place. For most of that time I have helped translate Hubble's amazing science data into images distributed worldwide to help describe what we have... Continue Reading →

Celestial-Terrestrial Convergence

For a while I thought my career and my personal life were fairly separate, but lately I've realized there's more overlap than I thought. I have been interested in both photography and astronomy for most of my life. I ended up pursuing astronomy as a career, but never stopped taking pictures. And most recently I... Continue Reading →

Peering through the Dust

You may have noticed that our favorite red planet, Mars, has been a popular feature in the news recently. Not that we need any special reasons to take a closer look at Mars, but a number of coincident events have brought this about: [1] Mars has just passed through opposition, or the point in its... Continue Reading →

Phobos Photobombs Mars

Every two years or so, Mars and the Earth approach each other more closely than usual. We're in no danger of colliding because both planets are kept in their orbits by the Sun's gravity. But the orbital geometry gives us an opportunity to get a closer and brighter view of our nearest neighboring planet from... Continue Reading →

The Day the Universe Shook

August 17, 2017 was a watershed moment in the nascent field of gravitational-wave astronomy. On this date, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detected a ripple in space-time, hereafter known as GW170817, originating near the constellation Hydra. A short while later, NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Burst Monitor detected a faint pulse of gamma rays in this... Continue Reading →

Lining up the Lagoon

A Cosmic Panorama Have you ever stood on the top floor of a tall building overlooking a vast city in front of you? You probably thought, "Wow, I should take a picture of this!" only to be disappointed when your camera can’t fit the scene into the image. Now, imagine your camera's field of view... Continue Reading →

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