I come across an article about the top 10 Hubble scientific discoveries and i thought that it may interest some of you.
(Oh and i tried to include the pictures but it wouldnt work for some reason)
Link to the list below
10. The Source of Long Gamma Ray Bursts...
In the 1960s, US satellites designed to detect gamma radiation from Russian nuclear testing began picking up huge radiation bursts from deep in space.
For decades, no one knew where the bursts were coming from. When the Hubble went on line, scientists were able to track the gamma ray bursts back to
galaxies with rapid star production, like the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy. According to Livio, the gamma ray bursts occur when one of the galaxy’s
massive stars collapses in on itself.
8. Stellar Populations
While some of the Hubble’s most notable pictures involved looking deep into space and time, it also made some important observations closer to
home... if you consider 2.5 million light years close to home. Scientists knew very little about the histories of even our closest galactic neighbors.
But the Hubble, which can focus on individual stars in these galaxies, has allowed scientists to better understand the history of our corner of the
7. Collision Images
Speaking of close to home, Hubble took one of its most important pictures of a planet right here in our own solar system. In 1994, fragments of the
comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter, and Hubble provided the first ever recorded images of a collision between two bodies in space. Aside from simply
looking cool, photos of the scars left by the collision provided new insights into the makeup of Jupiter’s atmosphere.
6. Counting Planets
Naturally, being the egocentric species that we are, contemplating the mysteries of the cosmos inevitably leads to the question of whether life exists
on other planets. To answer that question, we need to know just how many other planets there are. Pictures from the Hubble went a long way towards
answering that question. By capturing images of the solar debris disks that eventually coalesce into planets, the Hubble showed that planets are far
more common than scientists previously thought.
5. Extrasolar Planets
And while we’re on the subject of extrasolar planets, the Hubble also snapped the first shot of a planet outside of our solar system. Before this
picture of a planet around the star Fomalhaut was taken, scientists had to calculate whether a star had a planet by evaluating the star's wobble.
With the Hubble, the astronomers could just take a picture of the planet itself.
4. Black Holes
Astronomers had been theorizing that super massive black holes laid at the center of galaxies for years, but it wasn’t until the Hubble actually
took a shot of one of those black holes that the debate was put to rest. “Not only did Hubble discover that there are black holes in the center of
the galaxies, but it discovered that there was correlation between the size of the black hole and the size of the bulge,” said Mario Livio, a senior
astrophysicist at the Space Telescope Science Institute and author of Is God A Mathematician?. “Before that, we did not know that there was a black
hole in the center, and definitely did not know that relationship.”
Continued in Next Post