Thursday, July 01, 2010

Hubbles 20 Greatest Discoveries: 12 - 9

#9 - Hubble Finds Mysterious Ring Structure around Supernova 1987a

MAY 19, 1994: The Hubble telescope has obtained the best images yet of a mysterious mirror-imaged pair of rings of glowing gas encircling the site of the stellar explosion called supernova 1987A.

One possibility for these "hula hoops" of gas is that the two rings might be caused by a high-energy beam of radiation that is sweeping across the gas, like a searchlight sweeping across clouds. Though all of the rings appear inclined to our view (so that they appear to intersect), they are probably in three different planes. The small, bright ring lies in a plane containing the supernova; one larger ring lies in front of and the other behind the smallest one.

#10 - Color Image of Multiple P/Shoemaker-Levy 9 Comet Impacts on Jupiter

Nothing else to add! lol

#11 - Hubble Makes First Direct Measurements of Atmosphere on World Around another Star

NOVEMBER 27, 2001: Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have made the first direct detection of the atmosphere of a planet orbiting a star outside our solar system. Their unique observations demonstrate that it is possible with Hubble and other telescopes to measure the chemical makeup of alien planet atmospheres and to potentially search for the chemical markers of life beyond Earth. The planet orbits a yellow, Sun-like star called HD 209458, located 150 light-years away in the constellation Pegasus.

#12 - Hubble Directly Observes Planet Orbiting Fomalhaut

NOVEMBER 13, 2008: Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have taken the first visible-light snapshot of a planet orbiting another star. The images show the planet, named Fomalhaut b, as a tiny point source of light orbiting the nearby, bright southern star Fomalhaut, located 25 light-years away in the constellation Piscis Australis. An immense debris disk about 21.5 billion miles across surrounds the star. Fomalhaut b is orbiting 1.8 billion miles inside the disk's sharp inner edge.

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