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The Hubble Telescope Photos Have Mesmerized Science For 25 Years

Planetary Nebula NGC 2818, Hubble Space Telescope /NASA

Planetary Nebula NGC 2818, Hubble Space Telescope /NASA

The Hubble space telescope began its task 25 years ago, peering from orbit into the fathomless universe and gathering images of stars and galaxies so far off in space and time that some had formed when the universe itself was forever in formation

The Hubble images are spectacular, and in it’s huge collection it shows as a gallery of high-resolution photographic masterpieces for a very large-format volume. They will remain as an art gallery for collectors long after the Hubble itself falls back into Earth’s atmosphere and burns up like a meteor — 22 years from now, NASA estimates.Hubble / NASA

To astronomers, of course, the Hubble has provided far more than pictures, for each image reveals details of phenomena that have long puzzled astrophysicists on Earth: panoplies of new-forming stars, collisions of galaxies far distant from our own, and stellar explosions, or supernovae, that could harbor black holes in their hearts. There are even suggestions of the dark energy that still puzzles cosmologists.

The Hubble has already helped answer many profound questions about the past and future of our universe, and will pose even more. Thus every photographic page in this book offers us an opportunity to gaze into a different and violent cosmic event — not bad for a picture book!

Hubbble /NASA

Hubbble /NASA

However, there is virtually no text to explain the images. Each is a magnificent work of art, but not an astronomy lesson, although there is a fascinating explanation of how the full-color images have been reconstructed from the telescope’s spectrum data. Charles F. Bolden and John M. Grunsfeld, the two former Hubble astronauts who now head NASA, contribute brief messages about their telescope, and all the text is also translated into French and German.

The Hubble Telescope Photos Have Mesmerized Science For 25 Years.

 

About Jordanna

From San Diego, California. "Good news is rare these days, and every glittering ounce of it should be cherished and hoarded and worshiped and fondled like a priceless diamond." -Hunter S. Thompson

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