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Awesomeness Round-up – 4/26/11

Happy 21st anniversary, Hubble! To celebrate this milestone, the telescope was pointed at a lovely pair of interacting galaxies called Arp 273. The shape (which reminds some of a rose) is due to the gravitational tidal pull between the pair, which is distorting the disk of the larger galaxy. It’s exactly the sort of gorgeous imagery we’ve come to expect from the telescope. The still image follows.

NASA's Hubble Celebrates 21st Anniversary with "Rose" of Galaxies
Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

NASA’s STEREO Spacecraft Discovers New Eclipsing Binary Stars
Credit: NASA/STEREO/D. Bewsher

The STEREO mission, which launched two satellites in 2006, was mainly designed to image the Sun in 3D and study the impact of the Sun on the solar system. But it’s also looking a bit further – a survey using STEREO’s Heliospheric Imagers has discovered 122 new eclipsing binary stars and observed hundreds more variable stars. Scientists are also interested in using these instruments for exoplanet and astroseismology research. This is a common occurrence with NASA satellites – though they are proposed and designed for a certain purpose, they often do much, much more!

Last week marked another anniversary – it’s been one year since First Light for the Solar Dynamics Observatory! The team released this video to celebrate. They’re also running a video contest – visit this site for details, watch the ten videos from the first year of SDO data, and vote for your favorite!

And because it wouldn’t be an awesomeness round-up without a video of what the Sun has been up to, here’s SDO data of the activity between April 17th and 19th:

Finally, we wanted to draw your attention to a cool project from the University of Notttingham, the Periodic Table of Videos, which has made a short video for each of 118 chemical elements. It’s complete (until more elements are discovered and added), so they’ve moved on to molecules and compounds now! Here’s the video for Yttrium, which has a particularly awesome name (and interesting video):


  • Chung Ting On says:

    Amazing videos

  • Lake District says:

    Simply amazing! I’ve been fascinated by space since I was a young child and remember when Hubble was sent into space and the efforts to correct the initial problems with it. Money well spent when you see the images and videos above. Well done. I’m totally in awe!

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