Oct 30, 2008

The HUBBLE Space Telescope LIVES!!!!

-FUPPETS- is pleased as goddamned spiked punch to relay the news that the magnificent Hubble Space Telescope is back up and running after a period of inactivity, following a September 27th failure of a vital data relay channel, marked "A". This channel is what the Hubble uses to send back the bulk of it's data and images. Since 1990 the "A" channel has been running perfectly, but the backup "B" channel, in stasis since the Hubble's launch, has been powered up and is now running efficiently.
In order to celebrate this tricky achievement, the scientists controlling Hubble aimed it's camera at an object in the sky called Arp 147. Check out this beautiful image.

The scientists called this a "perfect 10." The image is of two interacting galaxies. Here is the description from Space.com .

In the image, a galaxy at left looks somewhat like the number "1" and is relatively undisturbed, but for a smooth ring of starlight. It appears nearly edge-on to our line of sight. A galaxy at right, looking like a "zero," exhibits a clumpy, blue ring of intense star formation.
The blue ring was formed after the galaxy on the left passed through the galaxy on the right. Just as a pebble thrown into a pond creates an outwardly moving circular wave, or ripples, an outwardly propagating ring of higher density was generated at the point of impact of the two galaxies, astronomers explained. As this excess density collided with outer material that was moving inwards due to the gravitational pull of the two galaxies, shocks and dense gas were produced, stimulating star formation.
The dusty reddish knot at the lower left of the blue ring probably marks the location of the original nucleus of the galaxy that was hit.

AMAZING!!!!! Arp 147 lies about 400 million light years away. The amount of time it must have taken for the galaxy on the left to pass through the galaxy on the right is immense. It is almost unfathomable. What a beautiful instrument the Hubble is. We are lucky, lucky humans. -FUPPETS- is impressed.

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