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Thread: Hubble pictures

  1. #31
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    Pluto and Charon as seen by New Horizons two weeks ago:

    Attachment 37603

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    tankie Military Professional tankie's Avatar
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  4. #34
    Senior Contributor SteveDaPirate's Avatar
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    Beautiful, it is amazing how much the Hubble has found. I can't wait until the James Webb Space Telescope is launched.

    James Webb Space Telescope - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    tankie Military Professional tankie's Avatar
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    Keppler is sending some gr8 stuff back as well , but as its finding earth like planets etc it seems to have gone quiet with the info .

    https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rc...201,bs.1,d.bGQ

    https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rc...ai-EZFi6IIwSqA
    Last edited by tankie; 11 Sep 14, at 17:24.


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  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveDaPirate View Post
    I can't wait until the James Webb Space Telescope is launched.
    I'm actually waiting more for the first results from Gaia.

    JWST is more about the big picture - imaging molecular clouds, baby galaxies, stuff like that. Gaia is expected to discover several hundred-thousand (!) currently unknown objects, both asteroids within our own solar systems, planets in other solar systems, low-light stars in our local region - for exoplanets same as Kepler, just with about the annual yield of Kepler (~850 planets incl. candidates) easily averaged over every single 28-day scan cycle...

    Since last week there's even a Gaia mission app btw (for Apple products only - Android version later): Gaia > Gaia App

    Quote Originally Posted by tankie View Post
    Keppler is sending some gr8 stuff back as well , but as its finding earth like planets etc it seems to have gone quiet with the info.
    Kepler, after some hardware failures, has switched operation modes and is now operating in 83-day observation cycles, during each of which it scans about 20,000 target stars. The data from the first of these operation cycles will be archived - and hence made public - around mid-November. The last archiving afaik occured last December. Hence why it's pretty quiet currently.

    The original mission ended in May this year after a second of the four gyrowheels failed. They now balance the spacecraft with the two remaining gyrowheels and solar wind pressure on the side of the craft for the third axis of movement.
    Last edited by kato; 11 Sep 14, at 18:35.

  7. #37
    Senior Contributor SteveDaPirate's Avatar
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    I can't seem to recall the name of another very interesting upcoming spacecraft I am excited for. Essentially it will be put at the L1 Lagrangian point with a big shield blocking out the sun and staring back towards the earth with infrared sensors to look for near earth objects.

    Previously, trying to look for objects that may strike the earth has been next to impossible in the direction of the sun. This thing will use the sun to it's advantage as the objects it searches for will be warmed by the sun on the side facing the sensors.

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    You're thinking of the NEOWISE program.

    That's the WISE infrared telescope satellite originally launched in 2009. It's not at L1 though, but in a low-altitude polar orbit. After it exhausted its coolant supplies required for full operations NASA prolonged its use without coolant for about four months to search for near-earth asteroids; they officially decommissioned it in 2011 and now reactivated it again as a "cheap" asteroid search tool in September 2013 due to political pressure to look for dangerous objects after Chelyabinsk.

    The NEOWISE Project

  9. #39
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    As a summary, spacecraft at L-Points, including launches of next five years:

    At Sun-Earth L1 (note: mostly space weather satellites between Earth and Sun):
    - SOHO
    - WIND
    - ACE
    - DSCOVR (2015)
    - LISA Pathfinder (2015)
    - KuaFu-A (2017)

    At Sun-Earth L2 (note: Space Telescopes in Earth's Shadow):
    - Gaia
    - James Webb Space Telescope (2018)

    On Earth's orbit around the Sun:
    - Stereo 1 (between L4 and Earth)
    - Stereo 2 (between L5 and L3)
    - Keppler Space Telescope (L5 moving to L3)
    - Spitzer Space Telescope (L5 moving to L3)
    - ISEE-3 (near earth) (technically belongs in next category)
    (plus a number of permanently deactivated non-recoverable spacecraft, near Earth)

    On other heliocentric orbits:
    - Dawn (in asteroid belt)
    - Akatsuki (near Venus)
    - Ikaros (near Venus)
    - Shin'en 2 (elliptic solar orbit) (2015)
    - Solar Orbiter (elliptic solar orbit) (2017)

  10. #40
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    Astronomers have discovered a Neptune-sized exoplanet using the Hubble Space Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope and the Kepler Space Telescope.
    Neptune is the furthest planet away from our sun, and is 3.9 times bigger than Earth in terms of diameter. Its mass is 17 times greater than the Earth's so you could fit 57 Earths inside Neptune - still with room to spare. Despite actually being pretty big this new exoplanet is the smallest ever found to have water vapour.
    The planet, known as HAT-P-11b, is 120 light-years from us in the constellation of Cygnus. Unlike Neptune though, HAT-P-11b orbits close to its sun, taking roughly five days to complete its orbit compared to Neptune's 164.79 years.
    It is a warm planet thought to have a rocky core, a mantle of fluid and ice, and a thick gaseous atmosphere. It's significantly harder to find out more about the atmosphere of smaller planets like this one than large ones like Jupiter, because of their size. They're harder to probe and all the ones observed to date have been cloudy.
    The team used a technique called transmission spectroscopy, in which a planet is observed while crossing its parent star. Starlight filters through the rim of the planet's atmosphere and into the telescope. If molecules like water vapour are present, they absorb some of the starlight, leaving distinct signatures in the light that reaches our telescopes.
    They had to compare the datasets with those from Kepler and Spitzer before confirming that the water vapour was definitely coming from the planet. The results from all three telescopes demonstrate that HAT-P-11b is blanketed in water vapour, hydrogen gas, and other yet-to-be-identified molecules.
    The process of finding the water vapour on HAT-P-11b means it is also the smallest planet for which molecules of any kind have been directly detected using spectroscopy. Cool, huh


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  13. #43
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    Hubble has found a second target for the New Horizons probe after Pluto:

    Finally! New Horizons has a second target | The Planetary Society

    It was always planned that Hubble and ground-based telescopes would search for possible target objects in New Horizons' path; problem that occured is that a decade ago when New Horizons was approved NASA overestimated the small object population of the Kuiper Belt by about a factor of 100. A Hubble search around the time of the launch found vastly less small objects of a certain magnitude than expected, which rather mystified scientists (still does iirc).

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    Attachment 38361

    The ring on the outside consists of fresh star formation, but the within the inner central blue circle notice the faint S which consists of the dominant star formation in the Galaxy and is reminiscent of the Superman logo.

    Galactic wheel of life shines in infrared -- ScienceDaily

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