Hubble Still Holding Forth

Listen 00:06:46

Scientists are using the aging Hubble Space Telescope to determine the components of the atmosphere of a so-called super-Earth planet 40 light years away that orbits its sun every 18 hours. Hubble’s successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, is making steady progress towards a launch in October 2018. Unlike Hubble, it will be placed one million miles form earth and unserviceable. Also unlike HST, JWST will not work in the visible spectrum but in the infrared regions detecting heat energy from the faintest galaxies in the universe.

Last week we spoke of the first direct detection gravitational waves created by events such as rapidly spinning neutron stars, what we call pulsars. Pulsars were first identified by then-graduate student Jocelyn Bell 48 years ago.

This week, Jupiter and the moon ride the night together – Tuesday rising about 7:00pm until sunlight washes them from the low SouthWest sky at sunrise.

During the six-hour, 36-minute spacewalk servicing the Hubble Space Telescope, STS-125 Mission Specialists Andrew Feustel (left) and John Grunsfeld removed the Corrective Optics Space Telescope Axial Replacement and installed in its place the new Cosmic Origins Spectrograph. They also completed the Advanced Camera for Surveys electronic card replacement work, and completed part 2 of the ACS repair, installing a new electronics box and cable. Image credit: NASA

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal