This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows two of the galaxies in the galactic triplet Arp 248 — also known as Wild's Triplet — which lies around 200 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Virgo. The two large spiral galaxies visible in this image — which flank a smaller, unrelated background spiral galaxy — seem to be connected by a luminous bridge. This elongated stream of stars and interstellar dust is known as a tidal tail, and it was formed by the mutual gravitational attraction of the two foreground galaxies.
The galaxy merger Arp-Madore 417-391 steals the spotlight in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The Arp-Madore catalogue is a collection of particularly peculiar galaxies spread throughout the southern sky, and includes a collection of subtly interacting galaxies as well as more spectacular colliding galaxies. Arp-Madore 417-391, which lies around 670 million light-years away in the constellation Eridanus in the southern celestial hemisphere, is one such galactic collision. The two galaxies have been distorted by gravity and twisted into a colossal ring, leaving the cores of the two galaxies nestled side by side.Hubble used its Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) to capture this scene — the instrument is optimised to hunt for galaxies and galaxy clusters in the ancient Universe. Hubble’s ACS has been contributing to scientific discovery for 20 years, and throughout its lifetime it has been involved in everything from mapping the distribution of dark matter to studying the evolution of galaxy clusters.
Shreds of the luridly coloured supernova remnant DEM L 190 seem to billow across the screen in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The delicate sheets and intricate filaments are debris from the cataclysmic death of a massive star that once lived in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small satellite galaxy of the Milky Way. DEM L 190 — also known as LMC N49 — is the brightest supernova remnant in the Large Magellanic Cloud and lies approximately 160 000 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Dorado.
Researchers have found evidence for the existence of a new type of planet they have called a “water world,” where water makes up a large fraction of the entire planet. These worlds, discovered in a planetary system 218 light-years away, are unlike any planets in our Solar System.The team, led by Caroline Piaulet of the Institute for Research on Exoplanets (iREx) at the University of Montreal, published a detailed study of a planetary system known as Kepler-138 in the journal Nature Astronomy on 15 December.
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has measured the size of the nearest Earth-sized exoplanet that passes across the face of a neighboring star. This alignment, called a transit, opens the door to follow-on studies to see what kind of atmosphere, if any, the rocky world might have.The diminutive planet, LTT 1445Ac, was first discovered by NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) in 2022. But the geometry of the planet's orbital plane relative to its star as seen from Earth was uncertain because TESS does not have the required optical resolution. This means the detection could have been a so-called grazing transit, where a planet only skims across a small portion of the parent star's disk. This would yield an inaccurate lower limit of the planet's diameter.
Hubble observations show that the planet makes a normal transit fully across the star's disk, yielding a true size of only 1.07 times Earth's diameter. This means the planet is a rocky world, like Earth, with approximately the same surface gravity. But at a surface temperature of roughly 500 degrees Fahrenheit, it is too hot for life as we know it.The planet orbits the star LTT 1445A, which is part of a triple system of three red dwarf stars that is 22 light-years away in the constellation Eridanus. The star has two other reported planets that are larger than LTT 1445Ac. A tight pair of two other dwarf stars, LTT 1445B and C, lies about 3 billion miles away from LTT 1445A, also resolved by Hubble. The alignment of the three stars and the edge-on orbit of the BC pair suggests that everything in the system is co-planar, including the known planets.
NASA is working to resume science operations of the Hubble Space Telescope after it entered safe mode Nov. 23 due to an ongoing gyroscope issue. Hubble’s instruments are stable, and the telescope is in good health:
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope Pauses Science Due to Gyro IssueNASA Hubble Mission TeamGoddard Space Flight CenterNOV 29, 2023ARTICLENASA is working to resume science operations of the agency’s Hubble Space Telescope after it entered safe mode Nov. 23 due to an ongoing gyroscope (gyro) issue. Hubble’s instruments are stable, and the telescope is in good health.The telescope automatically entered safe mode when one of its three gyroscopes gave faulty readings. The gyros measure the telescope’s turn rates and are part of the system that determines which direction the telescope is pointed. While in safe mode, science operations are suspended, and the telescope waits for new directions from the ground.Hubble first went into safe mode Nov. 19. Although the operations team successfully recovered the spacecraft to resume observations the following day, the unstable gyro caused the observatory to suspend science operations once again Nov. 21. Following a successful recovery, Hubble entered safe mode again Nov. 23.The team is now running tests to characterize the issue and develop solutions. If necessary, the spacecraft can be re-configured to operate with only one gyro. The spacecraft had six new gyros installed during the fifth and final space shuttle servicing mission in 2009. To date, three of those gyros remain operational, including the gyro currently experiencing fluctuations. Hubble uses three gyros to maximize efficiency, but could continue to make science observations with only one gyro if required.NASA anticipates Hubble will continue making groundbreaking discoveries, working with other observatories, such as the agency’s James Webb Space Telescope, throughout this decade and possibly into the next.Launched in 1990, Hubble has been observing the universe for more than 33 years. Read more about some of Hubble’s greatest scientific discoveries.
Hubble orbiting more than 300 miles above Earth as seen from the space shuttle.NASA