In Honor of Hubble

With the 20th anniversary of the launching of the Hubble Space Telescope coming up this Saturday, April 24th, we thought it was worth noting, for all those Hubble enthusiasts out there, the various Hubble-related programs and web features we've created in recent years.

eagle nebula.jpg
Hubble image of the Eagle Nebula, aka the Pillars of Creation, Courtesy Jeff Hester

Last August, we aired a segment on NOVA scienceNOW about the repair mission of May 2009. This fix, the final one Hubble will get, followed on four others -- in 12/93, 2/97, 12/99, and 2/02, respectively. We found the story of the 2009 repair such rich drama that we aired a full one-hour NOVA on it, Hubble's Amazing Rescue, in October.

The director of both programs, Rush DeNooyer, wrote a series of behind-the-scenes blog posts about the 2009 repair. He began on launch day, May 11, and last posted on September 9, when the first images from the new, improved Hubble came through. (They were stunning.) Watch for a new blog post from Rush this Saturday, on the anniversary.
Last week we released a podcast with Neil deGrasse Tyson, host of NOVA scienceNOW, about just what Hubble allowed us to do that ground-based telescopes couldn't. (Listen for his blades-of-grass analogy.) This week we'll release a new podcast about Hubble's significance with Ed Weiler, who from 1979 to 1998 was NASA's Chief Scientist for Hubble.

What else? Find out in a podcast why astronaut John Grunsfeld felt before the mission that he might "have to become a recluse in Bolivia and never again appear in public." And in a video extra why astronaut Mike Massimino says that, before training in NASA's Neutral Buoyancy Lab, you'd better have had a darn good breakfast. Grunsfeld and Massimino also team up to answer viewer questions about everything from spacewalking to space tourism.

In other video shorts, learn how Hubble resembles a school bus (and decidedly doesn't) as well as hear from Neil Tyson about the uproar over NASA's original cancellation of the fifth repair mission. "I know of no time in the history of civilization when the general public banded together to save a scientific instrument," Neil says.

You can also see how the most famous photograph the Hubble ever shot -- that of the Eagle Nebula, aka the "Pillars of Creation" -- went from raw data to riveting image, including why the final picture seems to have a big bite taken out of its upper right.

Finally, if you want some context for Hubble, you can watch our recently aired two-hour program on telescopes, Hunting the Edge of Space.

Happy Hubbling.

User Comments:

can the hubble see panet x or the 12 planet of nibiru or so called 10th planet because you dont count the moon and sun

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