Guess who’s back?

Remember saying goodbye to Hubble’s old camera, WFPC2? This servicing mission was months ago, now, so perhaps you’ve forgotten about this 19 year old telescope.

Well, the new camera, WFC3, is finally ready to make its debut. Plans include surveying the Kuiper Belt, looking at newly forming planets, better measuring dark energy, and a new, improved Ultra Deep Field of the distant Universe.

But, as always, the images are what do it for me. Take Stephan’s Quintet, a group of five galaxies close together. Regular telescope? Go, and click to enlarge:

Not bad. But one of the first pictures that Hubble’s new camera has released is also of Stephan’s Quintet. It nearly makes my eyeballs pop out, so view it full-size:

So welcome back, Hubble! Check out the news release at hubblesite.org for all the new Hubble pictures. What a present for 09/09/09!

Comments

  1. #1 Dunc
    September 9, 2009

    That’s absurdly cool!

  2. #2 Bing
    September 9, 2009

    I love that scope. The engineers who have kept it going for so long deserve our thanks. Fantastic!

    HJ

  3. #3 Sili
    September 9, 2009

    Backstreet Boys? Alright.

  4. #4 dave
    September 9, 2009

    It just doesn’t get any better than that……..

  5. #5 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    September 9, 2009

    Good to see HST hasn’t been destroyed by Mike Nelson yet.

  6. #6 Michael Knudsen
    September 10, 2009

    Really nice pictures! There’s an interesting story in Slate Magazine about how the pictures get so pretty:

    http://www.slate.com/id/2227828/?from=rss

  7. #7 pol
    September 10, 2009

    Simple, stupid question from an absolute ignoramus: what causes the perpendicular lines of light that seem to stem out of the stars?

  8. #8 rob
    September 10, 2009

    @pol:

    good observation!

    diffraction of light on the internal parts of the telescope.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diffraction_spike

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