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Hubble's Universe

Twenty-five years ago, on 24 April 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope was launched into low-earth orbit. After an inauspicious start - a flaw in the mirror optics had to be corrected by the first of several space-shuttle servicing missions - the telescope went on to produce stunning images that couldn’t be matched by observatories on earth because of atmospheric distortion.

The HST has not only revealed unimaginably distant galaxies but has also provided images of unsurpassed clarity from within our own solar system, such as the collision of the Shoemaker-Levy comet with Jupiter in 1994. It has also come up with several scientific breakthroughs, such as the first image in visible light of a planet in another star system, and has provided data that helped astronomers determine more precisely the age of the universe.

Learn more about the story of the HST, and view many of the memorable images it has captured, in the following books and DVDs from Richland Library.


Amazon Says: 25 years ago, NASA launched one of the most ambitious experiments in the history of astronomy: the Hubble Space Telescope. This single telescope has helped astronomers pinpoin more...
Amazon Says: 25 years ago, NASA launched one of the most ambitious experiments in the history of astronomy: the Hubble Space Telescope. This single telescope has helped astronomers pinpoint the age of the universe, revealed the birthplace of stars, and uncovered black holes lurking at the heart of galaxies. In honor of its anniversary, NOVA tells the remarkable story that forever changed our understanding of the cosmos and our place in it. less...
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Amazon Says: Hubble s Cosmic Journey, is a celebration of the Hubble Space Telescope s 25 years orbiting our planet. Narrated by renowned astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, the one-hou more...
Amazon Says: Hubble s Cosmic Journey, is a celebration of the Hubble Space Telescope s 25 years orbiting our planet. Narrated by renowned astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, the one-hour special is the story of one of the most remarkable advances in modern technology, as told by the people who designed, built, launched, operated and repaired the legendary observatory. less...
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Amazon Says: In May 2009, the crew of the Space Shuttle Atlantis launched a mission to make vital repairs and upgrades to the Hubble Space Telescope, the world’s first space-based optica more...
Amazon Says: In May 2009, the crew of the Space Shuttle Atlantis launched a mission to make vital repairs and upgrades to the Hubble Space Telescope, the world’s first space-based optical telescope. An IMAXÒ camera captured stunning footage of the five intricate spacewalks required, as well as close-up images of the effort to grasp the orbiting telescope with the shuttle’s mechanical arm at 17,000 MPH – and an unexpected problem that could sabotage the entire mission. Hubble combines this breathtaking material with images taken during the 20 years it has been our window into space. Through advanced computer visualization, Hubble’s detailed data becomes a series of scientifically realistic flights that unfold on screen like a guided tour of the universe, through time and space. less...
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Amazon Says: National Geographic presents the first accurate non-stop voyage from Earth to the edge of the Universe using a single, unbroken shot through the use of spectacular CGI (Comput more...
Amazon Says: National Geographic presents the first accurate non-stop voyage from Earth to the edge of the Universe using a single, unbroken shot through the use of spectacular CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery) technology. Building on images taken from the Hubble telescope, Journey to the Edge of the Universe explores the science and history behind the distant celestial bodies in the solar system. This spectacular, epic voyage across the cosmos, takes us from the Earth, past the Moon and our neighboring planets, out of our Solar System, to the nearest stars, nebulae and galaxies and beyond - right to the edge of the Universe itself. less...
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Amazon Says: The Hubble Space Telescope. No other telescope combines instant name recognition with the production of consistently spectacular images. Yet few people outside of the astrono more...
Amazon Says: The Hubble Space Telescope. No other telescope combines instant name recognition with the production of consistently spectacular images. Yet few people outside of the astronomy community realize that Hubble is now at the apex of its imaging capabilities. A collection of stunningly detailed pictures, made possible by the new Wide Field Camera 3, has yet to be incorporated into a popular-level book. Until now. Hubble's Universe will be the premier venue for the Hubble Telescope's most recent visual splendors. Bestselling astronomy writer Terence Dickinson showcases extraordinary late-breaking pictures, many of which have yet to receive wide distribution as news stories or in publications outside scientific papers, and presents a breathtaking portfolio drawn from an archive of over 500,000 existing Hubble images. The accompanying text balances accuracy with accessibility, Dickinson's hallmark. And thanks to the author's familiarity with Hubble's history and discoveries and his access to top Hubble scientists for insight and accuracy, the text includes facts and tidbits not found in any other book. Combined with hundreds of brilliant images, the clear, succinct and illuminating narrative brings to life the fascinating forces at work in the universe. less...
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Amazon Says: The vivid, dramatic images of distant stars and galaxies taken by the Hubble Space Telescope have come to define how we visualize the cosmos. In their immediacy and vibrancy, more...
Amazon Says: The vivid, dramatic images of distant stars and galaxies taken by the Hubble Space Telescope have come to define how we visualize the cosmos. In their immediacy and vibrancy, photographs from the Hubble show what future generations of space travelers might see should they venture beyond our solar system. But their brilliant hues and precise details are not simply products of the telescope’s unprecedented orbital location and technologically advanced optical system. Rather, they result from a series of deliberate decisions made by the astronomers who convert raw data from the Hubble into spectacular pictures by assigning colors, adjusting contrast, and actively composing the images, balancing the desire for an aesthetically pleasing representation with the need for a scientifically valid one.In Picturing the Cosmos, Elizabeth A. Kessler examines the Hubble’s deep space images, highlighting the remarkable resemblance they bear to nineteenth-century paintings and photographs of the American West and their invocation of the visual language of the sublime. Drawing on art history and the history of science, as well as interviews with astronomers who work on the Hubble Heritage Project, Kessler traces the ways that the sublime, with its inherent tension between reason and imagination, not only forms the appearance of the images, but also operates on other levels. The sublime informs the dual expression—numeric and pictorial—of digital data and underpins the relevance of the frontier for a new era of exploration performed by our instruments rather than our bodies. Through their engagement with the sublime the Hubble images are a complex act of translation that encourages an experience of the universe as simultaneously beyond humanity’s grasp and within the reach of our knowledge.Strikingly illustrated with full-color images, this book reveals the scientific, aesthetic, and cultural significance of the Hubble pictures, offering a nuanced understanding of how they shape our ideas—and dreams—about the cosmos and our places within it. less...
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How Old Is the Universe? by David Weintraub
Amazon Says: Astronomers have determined that our universe is 13.7 billion years old. How exactly did they come to this precise conclusion? How Old Is the Universe? tells the incredible st more...
Amazon Says: Astronomers have determined that our universe is 13.7 billion years old. How exactly did they come to this precise conclusion? How Old Is the Universe? tells the incredible story of how astronomers solved one of the most compelling mysteries in science and, along the way, introduces readers to fundamental concepts and cutting-edge advances in modern astronomy. The age of our universe poses a deceptively simple question, and its answer carries profound implications for science, religion, and philosophy. David Weintraub traces the centuries-old quest by astronomers to fathom the secrets of the nighttime sky. Describing the achievements of the visionaries whose discoveries collectively unveiled a fundamental mystery, he shows how many independent lines of inquiry and much painstakingly gathered evidence, when fitted together like pieces in a cosmic puzzle, led to the long-sought answer. Astronomers don't believe the universe is 13.7 billion years old--they know it. You will too after reading this book. By focusing on one of the most crucial questions about the universe and challenging readers to understand the answer, Weintraub familiarizes readers with the ideas and phenomena at the heart of modern astronomy, including red giants and white dwarfs, cepheid variable stars and supernovae, clusters of galaxies, gravitational lensing, dark matter, dark energy and the accelerating universe--and much more. Offering a unique historical approach to astronomy, How Old Is the Universe? sheds light on the inner workings of scientific inquiry and reveals how astronomers grapple with deep questions about the physical nature of our universe. less...
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Hubble: Imaging Space and Time by David H. Devorkin
Amazon Says: In the spirit of National Geographic’s top-selling Orbit, this large-format, full-color volume stands alone in revealing more than 200 of the most spectacular images from th more...
Amazon Says: In the spirit of National Geographic’s top-selling Orbit, this large-format, full-color volume stands alone in revealing more than 200 of the most spectacular images from the Hubble Space Telescope during its lifetime, to the very eve of the 2008 final shuttle mission to the telescope. Written by two of the world’s foremost authorities on space history, Hubble: Imaging Space and Time illuminates the solar system’s workings, the expansion of the universe, the birth and death of stars, the formation of planetary nebulae, the dynamics of galaxies, and the mysterious force known as "dark energy." The potential impact of this book cannot be overstressed: The 2008 servicing mission to install new high-powered scientific instruments is especially high profile because the cancellation of the previous mission, in 2004, caused widespread controversy. The authors reveal the inside story of Hubble’s beginnings, its controversial early days, the drama of its first servicing missions, and the creation of the dynamic images that reach into the deepest regions of visible space, close to the time when the universe began. A wealth of astonishing images leads us to the very edge of known space, setting the stage for the new James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled to launch in 2013. Find the stunning panoramic of Carina Nebula, detailing star birth as never before; a jet from a black hole in one galaxy striking a neighboring galaxy; a jewel-like collection of galaxies from the early years of the universe; and a giant galaxy cannibalizing a smaller galaxy. Timed for the 2008 shuttle launch and coinciding with the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s first telescope, Hubble: Imaging Space and Time accompanies a high-profile exhibit at the National Air and Space Museum and will be featured on the popular NASM website. less...
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Amazon Says: The latest photos from Hubble's recent discoveries, with fascinating new and updated information. After 17 years, 25,000 astronomical targets and more than 700,000 images, t more...
Amazon Says: The latest photos from Hubble's recent discoveries, with fascinating new and updated information. After 17 years, 25,000 astronomical targets and more than 700,000 images, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) continues to return images and data that amaze astronomers. Within the past few months alone, the Hubble has revealed a gold mine of just-formed star systems in the newborn Universe, provided detailed views of a second red spot emerging on Jupiter, and confirmed that monster black holes lurk at the center of galaxies. This brand new and updated edition features: 80 new full-color images A new introduction that reveals Hubble's future The data behind Pluto's recent demotion to non-planetary status Hubble's most important and fascinating new discoveries Explanations of how these new discoveries are revising scientific understanding of the Universe. New photographs reveal astonishing and previously unseen details of what once appeared only as gray blurs or dots on a star map. Examples include the Eagle Nebula and the birth of a star; newly formed stars blowing a cavity in the center of the Small Magellanic Cloud; colliding Antennae galaxies; and a massive galaxy just under assembly. Hubble transports readers beyond our solar system to galaxies millions -- even billions -- of light years away. These dramatic, unforgettable new images bring into sharp focus the ways in which the Universe is unfolding in new and astonishing ways. less...
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Hubble: 15 Years of Discovery by Lars Lindberg Christensen
Amazon Says: The book enables you to peer deeply into the wonders of the Universe in full color with unprecedented clarity and resolution Only Hubble Heritage picture book endorsed by the more...
Amazon Says: The book enables you to peer deeply into the wonders of the Universe in full color with unprecedented clarity and resolution Only Hubble Heritage picture book endorsed by the two leading space agencies, NASA and ESA Close-up photos within book are unmatched in competing texts, because the images have been prepared straight from the data by scientists to reach the highest possible quality less...
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Amazon Says: Astronomers are peering farther out in space—and back in time—than ever before  Chasing Hubble’s Shadows is an account of the continuing efforts of astronomers t more...
Amazon Says: Astronomers are peering farther out in space—and back in time—than ever before  Chasing Hubble’s Shadows is an account of the continuing efforts of astronomers to probe the outermost limits of the observable universe. The book derives its title from something the great American astronomer Edwin Hubble once wrote: “Eventually, we reach the dim boundary—the utmost limits of our telescopes. There, we measure shadows, and we search among ghostly errors of measurement for landmarks that are scarcely more substantial.” The quest for Hubble’s “shadows”—those unimaginably distant, wispy traces of stars and galaxies that formed within the first few hundred million years after the Big Bang—takes us back, in effect, to the beginning of time as we are able to perceive it, when the first discrete stellar objects appeared out of what has lately come to be known as the “cosmic dark age.” The information that is being gleaned from these dim sources—chiefly with the aid of Hubble’s namesake, the Hubble Space Telescope—promises to yield clues to many cosmic puzzles, including the nature of the mysterious “dark energy” that is now believed to pervade all of space. less...
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Hubble and the Big Bang by Paul Kupperberg
Amazon Says: Presents the life of the American astronomer, discussing his childhood and education, his discoveries about distant galaxies and the expansion of the universe, and his contrib more...
Amazon Says: Presents the life of the American astronomer, discussing his childhood and education, his discoveries about distant galaxies and the expansion of the universe, and his contribution to the big bang theory. less...
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Amazon Says: Colorful and awe-inspiring poster-size photographs of emerging star, nebulae, and other astronomical marvels highlight an exploration of the impact that the Hubble Space Teles more...
Amazon Says: Colorful and awe-inspiring poster-size photographs of emerging star, nebulae, and other astronomical marvels highlight an exploration of the impact that the Hubble Space Telescope has had on scientific study and general appreciation of the wonders of the skies. Original. less...
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Amazon Says: Clear text and spectacular images of deep space from the Hubble Space Telescope and other advanced space probes detail the history of the universe, from the hot gases of the b more...
Amazon Says: Clear text and spectacular images of deep space from the Hubble Space Telescope and other advanced space probes detail the history of the universe, from the hot gases of the big bang to the development of galaxies, stars, and planets to the present day. less...
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Amazon Says: The first edition of Hubble Vision became an international bestseller and won world-wide, critical acclaim. This eagerly awaited second edition is the most comprehensive, most more...
Amazon Says: The first edition of Hubble Vision became an international bestseller and won world-wide, critical acclaim. This eagerly awaited second edition is the most comprehensive, most authoritative and best illustrated popular book available on the Hubble Space Telescope. It provides a magnificent portfolio of the latest and greatest images from the HST, woven together with a lucid text explaining the most exciting discoveries and setting them in the context of our current understanding in astronomy. This second edition has been completely revised, updated and expanded to include all the latest astronomical discoveries - from supernovae and protostars to gravitational lensing, black holes and the early Universe. It is now even better illustrated, with nearly 25% more figures, and more than 100 entirely new. The unique combination of authors - an award-winning science writer and a key scientist involved in the development of the mission - ensure that the text is both engaging and authoritative. Hubble Vision offers a view of the Universe as never seen before. It will capture the imagination of all those interested in the astronomical quest of understanding our Universe - from high-school students to general readers and amateur astronomers. less...
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