NASA's Hubble Makes One Millionth Science Observation
NASA image release July 5, 2011
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope reached its millionth science observation on July 4, 2011, during a search for water in the atmosphere of an exoplanet (a planet outside our solar system) 1,000 light-years away.
This is an artist's concept of that planet, HAT-P-7b. It is a "hot Jupiter" class planet orbiting a star that is much hotter than our sun. Hubble Space Telescope's millionth science observation was trained on this planet to look for the presence of water vapor and to study the planet's atmospheric structure via spectroscopy. Planets with orbits inclined nearly edge-on to Earth can be observed passing in front of and behind their stars. This allows for the planetary atmospheres to be studied by Hubble's spectrometers. Hubble's unique capabilities allow astronomers to do follow-up observations of exoplanets to characterize the composition and structure of their atmospheres.
Hubble is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency. Goddard manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) conducts Hubble science operations. STScI is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy Inc. in Washington.
Credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)
To read more about this image go here: www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/science/millionth.html
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.
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