This new Hubblecast episode explores what we can learn through the transits of exoplanets. It also tells us what we have learned from these transits with the help of Hubble and which discoveries we can expect with the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope.
Born in 1868, Henrietta Leavitt was an astronomer ahead of her time, whose work helped to revolutionise our understanding of the Universe. While working at Harvard Observatory, she began to study stars of fluctuating brightness. She made a crucial observation about these objects, which gave astronomers a new way to measure distances, ultimately leading to such impactful discoveries as the expansion of the Universe.
Astronomers have found that ‘Oumuamua, the first interstellar object discovered in the Solar System, is moving away from the Sun faster than expected. Using data from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, in cooperation with ground-based telescopes, a team of researchers concluded that ‘Oumuamua is most likely outgassing — suggesting that this enigmatic interstellar nomad is a peculiar comet rather than an asteroid.
On 24 April 1990, Hubble was launched into space. To celebrate its 28th year in orbit, some of Hubble’s precious observation time was used to observe the colourful Lagoon Nebula. One of only two star-forming nebulae visible to the unaided eye, this spectacular stellar nursery is not quite the tranquil landscape its name suggests.
Astronomers have used Hubble to make an incredible discovery — they have observed the most distant star ever seen. The bright blue star existed only 4.4 billion years after the Big Bang. This incredible distant star allows astronomers to learn more about the formation and evolution of stars in the early Universe.
Our eyes detect only visible light, but on board Hubble are a variety of instruments that together detect many different wavelengths of light. This means that Hubble is able to observe galaxies over a wide range of wavelengths to reveal features that would otherwise remain invisible to our eyes.
This visualisation takes the viewer on a breathtaking flight through the Orion Nebula, a nearby star-forming region. The video has been produced using scientific imagery and data from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.
Hubble is best known for its stunning images and amazing discoveries.
But sometimes the discoveries do not come hand-in-hand with a breathtaking view of the Universe. Raise the curtains for the artists creating impressions of the cosmos! In this Hubblecast we learn how artist’s impressions are made and how realistic they are.
The atmosphere of an exoplanet can reveal a wealth of information, such as the planet’s temperature, its air pressure, and whether it is suitable for life. However, studying exoplanet atmospheres is one of the most challenging tasks in modern astronomy — and a challenge for Hubble too. This new episode of the Hubblecast describes how exoplanet atmospheres are analysed and what makes it such a challenge.
Throughout its 27-year history, Hubble has seen enough of the Universe to fill 100 episodes of the Hubblecast — 10 hours worth! These episodes have captured the science, culture, trials, and successes of Hubble, ranging from its spectacular images to its cutting-edge discoveries to its impact on society.
To many, Hubble is best known for its stunning images of celestial objects, but among astronomers it is admired for the valuable data it delivers. Hubble has helped revolutionise astronomy, including shedding light on dark matter and dark energy, lifting the veil on black holes, and peering into the dusty regions around stars to image exoplanets. This new Hubblecast is the second part of an exploration of some of Hubble’s most important discoveries throughout its history.
Since its launch in 1990, Hubble has revolutionised our knowledge of astronomy. From imaging the most stunning phenomena in the cosmos, to the study of the invisible parts of the Universe, to observing the most distant objects ever seen. Hubble’s sharp eye has been at the forefront of astronomical exploration. This new Hubblecast is the first part of an exploration of some of Hubble’s most important discoveries in its almost 27-year history.