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Scientists talk about their favorite photos of space

Scientists talk about their favorite photos of space

The Hubble Space Telescope (HRT) has been sending beautiful pictures for over thirty years now The space us on earth. Images of sparkling galaxies adorn countless desktops, adding a dose of realism to science fiction series It is hung on the walls of the rooms of physics students and other geeks around the world.

But Hubble can do more than just take fun photos of space. Since the telescope left Kennedy Space Center on Discovery’s back on April 24, 1990, Hubble has orbited the Earth. In that time, it has achieved more than 1 million observations, which in turn formed the basis for more than 15,000 views scientific articles† The Hubble telescope can look back 13 billion years and show us supermassive black holes. Named after American astronomer Edwin Hubble, the telescope has completed hundreds of thousands of orbits around the Earth and is still important to understanding our place in the universe.

Hubble’s mission will soon be over. By the end of 2026, the telescope will be phased out and replaced with the James Webb Space Telescope. NASA† This telescope is currently preparing for use in Earth orbit – 1.5 million km above the Earth’s surface. The first images from the new telescope are expected to reach Earth this summer.

We thought this would be a good time to ask people who have had to view thousands of Hubble photos for work to select some of their favorites. Seven employees fromEuropean Space Agency (European Space Agency, ESA) has selected their favorite images and explained what makes them so special.

“The mission helped us find answers to fundamental questions about the nature of our universe.”

When I was a kid, I cut out pictures from old Hubble calendars and pasted them on the walls in my room so I could always look at the beautiful pictures of Universe can watch. Now I make sure that these photos catch the audience’s attention. The picture you chose is a kind of hidden gem. NGC 2525 is a galaxy located 70 million light-years from Earth, part of the Puppis star with giant black hole in the center.

If you look at the outer spiral to the left of the image, you will see a bright, radiant dot. This is fading SupernovaBeautifully captured by Hubble. The HRT observations of NGC 2525 were part of an important study, a measurement of expansion rate Universe. The mission helped us answer important questions about the nature of our universe. — Bethany Downer, ESA/Hubble Head of Communication Sciences

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“This picture reminds me daily that nature is perhaps the greatest inspiration for artists.”

As someone who works in both the worlds of art and science, I find it very interesting to learn about astronomical images that artists use as a source of inspiration. Artists Around the world – from those exhibiting at the most prestigious Parisian galleries to those working on the sidewalks of San Pedro – inspired by Hubble’s iconic image, “Pillars of Creation”.

This picture reminds me daily that nature is perhaps the greatest inspiration for artists. This certainly applies to the sometimes forgotten part of temper nature: night sky. † Mehdi Zamani, Image Editor and Metadata Specialist for Astronomical Visualization at ESA/Hubble

“Some of these tools are now in the third generation”

I chose this image because it shows one of the things that has put Hubble at the forefront of astronomy for 32 years. The telescope rotates like a satellite in a low earth orbit (at height 545 km† The photo shows how different astronauts are NASAThe spacecraft has regularly served Hubble as it orbits the Earth. They have replaced telescope instruments with newer and better versions. Some of these tools, such as the wide field camera, are now entering their third generation. † Callum Spring-Turner, science writer at ESA/Hubble

“We can learn about weather phenomena that happen in real time”

I like these composite images of Uranus, firstly because they show the aurora borealis on Uranus as it moves as the planet rotates; And second, because it shows two less known facts about Uranus – that it rotates on its side, and that it has its own ring system.

If someone outer planets (Planets outside the solar system), I find it fascinating that we can observe our planets in such detail. We can actually observe weather patterns and phenomena like the northern lights in real time. Since most astrological timelines are long, this is very exciting! † Eleanor Spring, science writer at ESA/Hubble

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These images were taken with an instrument that has been on the Hubble telescope for more than 20 years.

What we see here is a detailed map of almost an entire planetary system that changes over time. These images show waves of dust flying from the innermost part of the planetary system to the outer edge. It’s a complete mystery why this happens.

These images were taken with an instrument that has been on the Hubble telescope for more than twenty years. But despite this, it still provides as much useful scientific information as we do with a recent recent paragraph used in very large telescope, in the Atacama Desert in Chile. † John Debs, astronomer at ESA/AURA

“I can look back at the old footage and see how that gas jet moved and changed”

This is one of the most recent photos we’ve worked on since I joined the team, and it’s really special to me. First of all, it has many features that astronomical pictures Very unique: bright stars, nebulae, a lot of light, shadow and color.

This is our latest photo of this unusual jet of gas. Hubble’s detail and years of incredibly detailed work allow me to review old footage and see how this jet of gas has changed over the years. This is very rare. – Owen Higgins, Trainee at ESA/Hubble Team

“It is amazing to see how these compact organisms affect their hosts”

Things They are rare astronomical constellations where the central active supermassive black hole ‘stopped’ or settled. This creates a quasar ionization resonance.

I feel that these images provide one of the best visualizations of the 3D distribution of the structures of ionized gases. It lights up the host galaxies, while simultaneously illuminating the minds of students who are researching the influence of active galaxies. It’s amazing to see the effect such built-in things have on their hosts. – Travis Fisher, astronomer at European Space Agency / ORRA