Gallery: Hubble's greatest hits - 20th anniversary

Gallery: Hubble's greatest hits - 20th anniversary

Summary: The Hubble space telescope was a total bust after it was dropped from space shuttle Discovery 20 years ago. But some fine tuning turned it into a grand scientific achievement.

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TOPICS: Nasa / Space
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  • One of the top discoveries from Hubble include the age of the universe. From 1996 and 1997 images, the distance from Earth to galaxy NGC 4603 was determined to be 108 million light years. Extrapolating backward theorizes that the Big Bang happened between 9 and 14 billion years ago. In recent years the Hubble has helped make even more precise measurements.

    Credit: Jeffrey Newman (UC Berkeley) and NASA)

  • 1997 images from Hubble showed that three different galaxies contained black holes helping scientists to theorize that nearly all galaxies contained black holes.Credit: Karl Gebhardt (University of Michigan), Tod Lauer (NOAO), and NASA

  • Another huge Hubble discovery was a missing link in what we knew about planet formation. Here's how NASA descibes it" "Take light and fluffy stardust, condense to rocks. It's the "condense to rocks" part scientists have been eager to see. Like making a pizza, a cloud of stardust has to go from a blob to a relatively flat disk to form a new star and planet system." Here's a piece of Orion where planets are forming.

    Credit: NASA

Topic: Nasa / Space

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