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20 Years of Hubble

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the another-nasa-fake dept.

NASA 67

GPLHost-Thomas writes "The Hubble Space Telescope roared into space 20 years ago to begin a career rewriting what we know about the universe around us: the age of the universe, the composition of galaxies' cores, how planets form, and much more. NASA released some of the most spectacular photos for the event."

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frist psot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31978242)

the hubble space telescope is pants

Re:frist psot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31978894)

No actually it's a telescope but better luck next time.

Scent of a lady's underwear... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31978254)

In my opinion, there is nothing quite like the scent of a lady's underwear.

mmmm... the stink of wet panties.

White with a streak of yellow reek,
A shitty pink,
A most unladylike stink,
From a fragrant, lubricated leak.

Re:Scent of a lady's underwear... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31978478)

  1. Find a stable with a male horse in it
  2. Kneel underneath the horse
  3. Using your mouth, apply negative pressure to the tip of the horse pizzle
  4. ???
  5. SPLOOOOOOM!

Nasa? (0, Offtopic)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 4 years ago | (#31978314)

Did you by any chance mean NASA?

Re:Nasa? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31978350)

No, Nasa. Martin Nasa who lives a few miles from me released the photos.

Re:Nasa? (2, Informative)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 4 years ago | (#31978352)

Some overseas news sources, such as the BBC, use a style guide that does make it "Nasa" not "NASA".

Re:Nasa? (4, Funny)

click2005 (921437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31978386)

Then shouldn't that be the Bbc?

Re:Nasa? (3, Informative)

R.Mo_Robert (737913) | more than 4 years ago | (#31978502)

Then shouldn't that be the Bbc?

No. NASA is an acronym; BBC is an initialism. Some style guides treat them differently, capitalizing only the first letter of the former but all letters of the latter. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abbreviation#United_Kingdom [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Nasa? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31980022)

Actually, NASA and BBC are both initialisms.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/initialism [reference.com]

Re:Nasa? (3, Informative)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 4 years ago | (#31980416)

initialism (-nsh'-lz'm) n. An abbreviation consisting of the first letter or letters of words in a phrase (for example, IRS for Internal Revenue Service), syllables or components of a word (TNT for trinitrotoluene), or a combination of words and syllables (ESP for extrasensory perception) and pronounced by spelling out the letters one by one rather than as a solid word.

Hmmm... So NASA would be an acronym and BBC would be an initialism, right?

Re:Nasa? (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 3 years ago | (#31988102)

The National AeroSpace Agency? I think it is an initialism.

Re:Nasa? (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 3 years ago | (#31984178)

Only if you pronounce NASA "En-Ay-Es-Ay"

Re:Nasa? (4, Informative)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 4 years ago | (#31978512)

Then shouldn't that be the Bbc?

No. According to the BBC style guide, if an acronym is commonly spoken as a word, e.g. LASER, NASA, RADAR, then it is spelt as a normal word; laser, Nasa, radar. However, if the acronym is spoken as a acronym, as a sequence of letters, then it is spelt using all capitals, e.g. BBC, CNN, NSA.

Of course, the is a BBC/UK style guide. Americans do things differently when it comes to acronyms. American organisations often carry acronyms to excess(GE has an internal acronym dictionary), frequently structuring the original description to fit a premade acronym rather than the other way around. The most notorious example of this is the USA PATRIOT Act(yes the USA is part of the acronym). Since they are tailored to be like words, Americans tend to use acronyms as words, but still use upper case(go faster stripe) spelling in many documents. Hence they would write NASA and not Nasa.

As someone who grew up using the UK style, but who spends a lot of time on the US-centric internet I've tended to notice these differences as time goes by. Also, I am no longer able to discern which spelling must be used for countless words in English, which I imagine is the case for a lot of people. It's strange to think that when Hubble launched these kinds of confusion did not really impact on daily life so much.

Re:Nasa? (1)

arielCo (995647) | more than 4 years ago | (#31978598)

Then shouldn't that be the Bbc?

No. According to the BBC style guide, if an acronym is commonly spoken as a word, e.g. LASER, NASA, RADAR, then it is spelt as a normal word; laser, Nasa, radar. However, if the acronym is spoken as a acronym, as a sequence of letters, then it is spelt using all capitals, e.g. BBC, CNN, NSA.

So, is it Mr. Mxyzptlk or Mr. MXYZPTLK?

Sorry, couldn't help it. ;)

Re:Nasa? (1)

dbcad7 (771464) | more than 4 years ago | (#31980698)

Well using the DC style guide.. (note DC would be DC using the BBC style guide).. You would have to pronounce "Klit" "Pez" "Yaxm" to determine the proper spelling.. If that doesn't work, we'll try agoin later in 90 days.

Klaatu barada nikto

Re:Nasa? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31978656)

At least "Beeb" is always available, I guess...

Re:Nasa? (1)

Kittenman (971447) | more than 4 years ago | (#31979338)

And "Auntie", another old name for the BBC.

Re:Nasa? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31979556)

TBH lately I've become quite partial to expanding it to Big Brother Corporation...

Re:Nasa? (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 3 years ago | (#31985020)

Why?

Re:Nasa? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#31985406)

Just amusing; I still like BBC probably most out of all mass media.

Re:Nasa? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31980054)

The real question is, does anyone really fucking care? I mean, REALLY!? If you are reading an article about the hubble, and someone writes "Nasa" are you so dense that you're suddenly fucking confused about what they're talking about? Is there really a god damned question of context? Grow UP!

Re:Nasa? (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 3 years ago | (#31984200)

Grammar nazis don't grow up - they just flee to Argentina.

Re:Nasa? (1)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31978514)

No. BBC is an abbreviation; Nasa is an acronym in that it has become a word (cf. radar).

Re:Nasa? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31978768)

Not exactly. BBC is an acrynoym, which makes it in a subgroup of abbreviations. BBC is an acronym for British Broadcasting Corporation. Mrs. is an abbreviation, Mr. is an abbreviation, misc. is an abbreviation. NASA is an acronym. CIA is an acronym. For more info (abbreviation), see the defn. (abbreviation) here [wikipedia.org]
 
From wikipedia:
 

In strict analysis, abbreviations should not be confused with contractions or acronyms (including initialisms), with which they share some semantic and phonetic functions, though all three are connoted by the term "abbreviation" in loose parlance.[1]:p167 However, normally acronyms are regarded as a subgroup of abbreviations (e.g. by the Council of Science Editors).

 
So symantically, yes, it is an abbreviation, but its more specific class is that of an acronym, nullifying your firm 'no' refute. /end grammar nazi.

symantically? my ass. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31981428)

Before you leave, return your grammar nazi ID.

Re:Nasa? (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 3 years ago | (#31984212)

Actually, CIA is an initialism unless you pronounce it "Seeeeah".

Re:Nasa? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31986900)

From the same article:
"Initialisms are always written in capitals; for example the "British Broadcasting Corporation" is abbreviated to "BBC", never "Bbc". An initialism is similar to acronym but is not pronounced as a word."

So, you're wrong: BBC is not an acronym. nyaaaah nyaaaah nyaaaah!

Re:Nasa? (1)

Edzor (744072) | more than 4 years ago | (#31978528)

NASA can be pronounced as a word and so can be treated like a noun, while BBC cant. Technically this should apply to NATO as well, but fuck it, that's the English language for you.

Re:Nasa? (1)

NEDHead (1651195) | more than 4 years ago | (#31978678)

And would you suggest that the BBC cants to the left or to the right?

Re:Nasa? (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31979576)

Well, I prefer it straight up, initially.
But after a few, it seems I cant rite, and cant left*hic!* I mean leave.... ;-)

Re:Nasa? (1, Informative)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 4 years ago | (#31979428)

Technically this should apply to NATO as well, but fuck it, that's the English language for you.

The BBC and other British news organizations do in fact refer to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as Nato, not NATO.

Re:Nasa? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31986310)

The British have a history of not caring how people spell or pronounce their own names and instead Anglicizing them for their own convenience. I wonder why.

Enhancements (4, Informative)

michael_cain (66650) | more than 4 years ago | (#31978362)

As much as I enjoy the Hubble pictures, I always try to keep in mind that for most of them, there is no place that you could go and see the same image with your naked eye. False colors and extensions into the infrared portions of the spectrum create images that are both lovely and scientifically valuable; but it's not what you would see if you were positioned to look without equipment.

Re:Enhancements (2, Interesting)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31978524)

+ exposures lasting a long time, to capture the minute amounts of photons. Eye would often see...well...mostly black.

Can't wait for the full scope of results from Herschel, Kepler and upcoming JWST. Just too bad the "second Hubble" wasn't built from spares and sent using expendable booster, it probably wouldn't add that much to what Hubble has already cost (especially considering servicing missions)

Re:Enhancements (4, Insightful)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31979200)

but it's not what you would see if you were positioned to look without equipment.

What's your point? If we didn't have equipment, we couldn't see the rings around Saturn. We couldn't see Uranus let alone Neptune.

Once you accept that we can use equipment to see things that are beyond the ability of our naked eye, you'd be an idiot to limit said equipment to our eyes' limited range of the electromagnetic spectrum.

This, of course, leaves us with a dilemma - how do we visualize something that we cannot see with our naked eye? If we just display pictures using the actual wavelengths, we can't see anything. So we use false colours.

Re:Enhancements (4, Insightful)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 4 years ago | (#31979544)

I think he meant that you couldn't even take a space ship to some point in space and see the same thing, while with Saturn's rings you could fly to some specific distance from Saturn and see it in it's entirety, while the pillars of creation from almost any point in space would look like mostly empty space.

Re:Enhancements (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 3 years ago | (#31983378)

Sure, but you can't possibly get to see something like the Pillars of Creation [wikipedia.org] without equipment, no matter where you go.

First of all the structure is too large to see up close. That'd be like trying to figure out the shape of an ocean by standing on one shore. And it's probably close to impossible for our eyes to see space dust. We'd need to have it blocking some light source, and then we're back to trying to deduce the shape of something that is so massive.

And even then - how in the world does a space ship not count as equipment? If we can use space ships to aid in our observations, why not telescopes? Telescopes are a hell of a lot easier to build, so if anything they're lower tech.

Re:Enhancements (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 3 years ago | (#31985908)

I think the idea was that spaceships only alter our vantage point, not the light coming into our eye or a conversion of non-visible light into something visible. It's the difference between a fire tower and a pair of binoculars. Nobody would claim them to be the same thing.

Re:Enhancements (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 3 years ago | (#31987504)

Sure, but it's still a silly argument to make. What exactly are we supposed to do with data that we cannot visualize otherwise? Just ignore it? Pretend it's not there?

The false colour images we, the public, get aren't just PR meant to drum up support. They still have scientific value.

Re:Enhancements (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#31987392)

I think he meant that you couldn't even take a space ship to some point in space and see the same thing,

You could if the viewport of the spacecraft had an augmented reality overlay that enhanced the the surroundings with false color. Or, for that matter, if you had an implanted eye that could see multiple wavelengths that the human eye cannot see. If we are talking about space travel, I get the feeling that a lot of technology is going to come a long way before we fly out to these places. I mean, hell, you can already use your iPhone or Droid for augmented reality applications.

Re:Enhancements (1)

rune.w (720113) | more than 3 years ago | (#31987984)

What's your point? If we didn't have equipment, we couldn't see the rings around Saturn. We couldn't see Uranus let alone Neptune.

You probably mean we couldn't see the rings around Jupiter instead of Saturn. Saturn's rings are quite visible from any decent backyard telescope.

Re:Enhancements (2, Insightful)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 4 years ago | (#31979586)

If we're going to overcome gravity to get to the vicinity of those objects, we certainly should be willing to overcome the limits of the visible spectrum to experience them to the fullest...

Re:Enhancements (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 3 years ago | (#31984070)

"but it's not what you would see if you were positioned to look without equipment."

Without equipment, you'd see nothing at all.
That's sort of the point in building telescopes.

Re:Enhancements (1)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 3 years ago | (#31985346)

The same could be said of ultra-slow motion movies of physical processes, electron microscopy, or even Gram staining. One of the driving forces of science is to overcome our physical human limitations in its pursuit. (And thanks to HST, I overcame mine and got my doctorate, so don't you sass off about it.)

The fact that Hubble produces poster-ready photographs (real color or not) you can stare at pleasantly in a bong-fueled haze is ancillary, but still goddam cool.

Nice pix (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31978508)

I wish they didn't use the star filters though.

Re:Nice pix (4, Informative)

Phroon (820247) | more than 4 years ago | (#31978908)

The "star filters" you mention are actually diffraction spikes [wikipedia.org] caused by the rods that support the secondary mirror of the telescope. They are an intrinsic quality of the telescope. If you look at the left side of this image [wikimedia.org] of the Hubble under construction you can see three (of the four) black spokes that connect the outer cylindrical support to the cylinder in the middle (this is where the secondary mirror is mounted to). It is the light diffracting off of these spokes that cause the starburst pattern that you noticed.

Re:Nice pix (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31978968)

Guess I forgot the smiley.. Sorry

Re:Nice pix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31979022)

Counter-Trolled!

FYI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31978946)

The "star effect" is caused by the support struts in the telescope.

Re:FYI (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 3 years ago | (#31984250)

Man, I'll bet NASA was pissed when they realised all those pictures of stars they thought they were taking were actually artifacts of the instrument itself! ;)

Ultra Deep Field View (3, Insightful)

balsy2001 (941953) | more than 4 years ago | (#31978670)

One of the most sublime photos ever taken. I am amazed every time I look at it.

Re:Ultra Deep Field View (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31983242)

Hasselblad as well then? :)

nebula images (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31979350)

why does every nebula picture look like an anlien picture in a pose ?

Something I could never understand (0, Offtopic)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#31979610)

I think the Hubble Space Telescope is one of the finest things humankind has ever achieved. The photographs are awesome and the science irreplaceable. But I could never understand why it was named after a baseball player [carlhubbell.com] . I mean, sure he was a great pitcher and all but what does that have to do with astronomy?

Re:Something I could never understand (1)

UnObnubilationNation (1697288) | more than 4 years ago | (#31980444)

i'm hoping this is meant to be some poor quality joke...

Re:Something I could never understand (1)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#31980502)

i'm hoping this is meant to be some poor quality joke...

A joke, yes. Quality, of course, is subjective.

Re:Something I could never understand (1)

UnObnubilationNation (1697288) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981136)

I stand by what i said.

Re:Something I could never understand (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 4 years ago | (#32044600)

I somehow doubt it was meant to be poor quality.

failure redefined again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31979662)

For those who weren't around when it was launched, it immediately started sending back some really great images, but some of the planned-for capability was not there. Hubble had some vision problems. Yes, hubble was expensive. Yes, the gravity issues and lens shape should have been handled better. BUT, we americans put a giant telescope into space and changed the way human beings viewed the universe forever.

Further, we figured out the trouble and went up there and fixed it. The results are absolutely SPECTACULAR and have provided us with insights regarding our universe which could not be obtained otherwise. Human beings are human. We aren't perfect and neither our the projects we undertake. BUT this is something which we should take particular pride in. The whole world is a richer place because of our efforts. Please remember this when voting. Without your support, science will be relegated back to third-world status. Our total investment in NASA to date has been $416B, even in adjusted dollars it is only $806B (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_Budget). Think about the return on investment.....all of the miniturization and science driven by the space program. ROI is staggering.

Re:failure redefined again (2, Interesting)

delta98 (619010) | more than 4 years ago | (#31980846)

Another good take would be how in the future we repair our tools in space. Fixing Hubble was by no means a simple task , and I think we learned alot from not only the view and data we have but how to approach maintenance.

Re:failure redefined again (2, Interesting)

Syniurge (1550185) | more than 4 years ago | (#31981376)

Think about the return on investment.....all of the miniturization and science driven by the space program. ROI is staggering.

Didn't you forget mind-blowing photos of the heavens as hmm.. a significant part of the return on investment? Of course revealing more of the celestial vault isn't measured in $$$, so yeah you can probably omit them.

Re:failure redefined again (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 3 years ago | (#31984342)

We americans put a giant telescope into space.

I wonder what the ESA has to say about that, what with Hubble being a joint ESA venture and the largest space telescope being the Herschel Space Observatory (another ESA project).

Re:failure redefined again (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 3 years ago | (#31985310)

You sure did say "we" a lot. You didn't put it in space. You didn't figure out the trouble and go and fix it. Your only effort was paying tax - a few cents of which went into paying for it, all without your input. Why are you so desperate to cling to the successes of others? Is it some vain attempt to improve your own perception of yourself? Are you really that insecure as a human being that you have to judge yourself by the actions of others that you are connected to only by some arbitrary, artificial borders, and the very accident of your birth?

And as others have pointed out, it wasn't just an American project.

Hubble 3D (1)

Luyseyal (3154) | more than 3 years ago | (#31983298)

There's an IMAX movie out right now called Hubble 3D [imdb.com] which details the repairs of the Hubble as well as some discoveries and has some fun effects. It was rather inspiring. I definitely loved it and plan to take the kids.

-l

better pay more attention (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31995064)

I misread that as "20 years of Rubble," and thought Barney was older than that.

Hubble (1)

raymondpl (1802802) | more than 4 years ago | (#32068532)

how fast time flies
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