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Hubble’s 25th Birthday

by Radmila Topalovic – Astronomer

Hubble Deep Field image showing hundreds of galaxies.  Credit: NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI) and the HUDF Team

Hubble Deep Field image showing hundreds of galaxies.
Credit: NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI) and the HUDF Team

This month marks the 25th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope, whose data has revolutionised the field of astrophysics, and captivated scientists and the public alike. Built by NASA with contributions from ESA, the telescope has a primary mirror (its eye) of 2.4 metres and orbits the Earth at an altitude of 340 miles. Read more about this amazing telescope in our article for the Guardian

Royal Observatory discovers unconventional use of historical object

1 April 2014 – Experts at the Royal Observatory Greenwich have discovered that a mural quadrant, originally thought to be used as a telescope mount for star-gazing astronomers, had another much more unusual use – to cut up cheese. The 18th-century mural quadrant was studied by experts at the Observatory after…

Alien art: George Stubbs and the search for extraterrestrial life

News that our colleagues at the National Maritime Museum are busy raising funds to acquire two oil paintings by the 18th century artist George Stubbs has set me thinking about connections with the Royal Observatory’s current exhibition Alien Revolution: the changing perception of extraterrestrial life. The paintings in question, Kongouro from…

Huge asteroid 1998 QE2 flies by

31 May 2013 – Huge asteroid 1998 QE2 flies past Earth tonight. It’s also slightly surprisingly bringing its own moon with it, making it a binary asteroid. (Though that’s not as unusual as it sounds – more than 15% of large near-Earth asteroids have 1-2 moons, or companion asteroids.) At…