Too cool, part 18: Hubble turns 23

Twenty-three years ago today, the Hubble Space Telescope was launched into low-earth orbit (meaning about 555 km, or 345 mi, above the surface of the Earth.) Since that time, it has produced perhaps the largest body of work of any single telescope, and certainly some of the most detailed. And just recently, NASA released [...]

That’s 154 to you and me


On this date 22 years ago, the Hubble Space Telescope was borne into space on Shuttle Discovery, the one that recently did its last flyby over DC (well, okay, it had help) before delivery to the Udvar-Hazy center. The Hubble will be retired soon, and while this is viewed with some [...]

Too cool, part 12: Won’t fit in the bag

Courtesy of NASA’s Astronomy Photo of the Day, I present one of the most interesting examples of unintuitive physics: the curvature of spacetime to produce a gravitational lens. The ring that you see here is not the shock wave from a supernova affecting the surrounding gases, as I first thought, but actually a blue [...]

Pluto’s posse

I’m not following the latest breaking astronomical websites like I used to, so this news is a little old to those that do. But recently, astronomers confirmed that Pluto has another moon, bringing its total to four (counting Charon, known since 1978, and Nix and Hydra discovered in 2005.) For the time being, this [...]