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Hubblecast 21 Special: From silver to silicon

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07:43
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In this new Hubblecast episode, Dr. J guides us through the fourth chapter of Eyes on the Skies, the International Astronomical Union's movie celebrating the telescope on its 400th anniversary in 2009. Observing the Universe through the eyepiece of a telescope is one thing, but recording the observations for posterity is something quite different. Originally astronomers used pen and paper to draw what they saw, but the human eye is a lousy detector and our brain can play tricks on us. Astrophotography, first explored in the mid-nineteenth century, has proved to be a powerful, objective way of recording telescopic images with the advantage that long exposures revealed much more than the eye could ever see. But the true revolution arrived with electronic detectors and digital image processing. The descriptions are available on the respective webpages, see: http://www.spacetelescope.org/videos/hubblecast21a
09:16
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In this new Hubblecast Special episode, Dr. J guides us through the seventh chapter of Eyes on the Skies, the International Astronomical Union's movie celebrating the telescope's 400th anniversary in 2009. The telescope has been mankind's window on the Universe for four hundred years. It has provided scientists with unprecedented views of planets, stars and galaxies from our cosmic doorstep to the very depths of space and time. But despite their incredible performance, even the newest and most powerful telescopes leave room for improvement. Astronomers always want to venture beyond their current horizons. In this final chapter we take a look at things to come — the revolutionary ground-based telescopes and space observatories of the future. One thing is certain: there is much left to discover. The descriptions are available on the respective webpages, see: http://www.spacetelescope.org/videos/hubblecast25a/
09:36
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In this new Hubblecast episode, Dr. J guides us through the second chapter of Eyes on the Skies, the International Astronomical Union's official movie celebrating the telescope on its 400th anniversary in 2009. In their quest for ever-fainter objects and finer detail, astronomers have always demanded bigger telescopes. Scientific vision, technical nerve and personal perseverance led to the giant observatories of the early 20th century. Located on remote peaks and protected beneath majestic domes, these awe-inspiring instruments have revealed an expanding and evolving Universe, populated by a stunning variety of galaxies and nuclear powered stars that produced the elements in our bodies. A few decades ago the five metre Hale Telescope on Palomar Mountain seemed to be the ultimate telescope. But was it? The descriptions are available on the respective webpages, see: http://www.spacetelescope.org/videos/hubblecast19a/
09:24
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In this new Hubblecast episode, Dr. J guides us through the third chapter of Eyes on the Skies, the International Astronomical Union's official movie celebrating the telescope on its 400th anniversary in 2009. Progress in telescopic astronomy would have come to a grinding halt in the second half of the twentieth century if it weren't for the digital revolution. Powerful computers have enabled a wealth of new technologies that have resulted in the construction of giant telescopes, perched on high mountaintops with monolithic or segmented mirrors as large as swimming pools. Astronomers have even devised clever ways of undoing the distorting effects of atmospheric turbulence and of combining individual telescope mirrors into virtual behemoths with unsurpassed eyesight. The optical wizardry of 21st century telescope building has ushered in a completely new era of ground-based astronomical discovery. The descriptions are available on the respective webpages, see: http://www.spacetelescope.org/videos/hubblecast20a/
06:29
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We live in a Universe of unimaginable scale and almost incomprehensible beauty. How is the light from the Universe transformed into the images that have inspired generations by making the Universe come to life? This episode is available for download in different formats from http://www.spacetelescope.org/videos/hubblecast10a/
09:42
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In this new Hubblecast episode, Dr. J guides us through the sixth chapter of Eyes on the Skies, the International Astronomical Union's movie celebrating the telescope on its 400th anniversary in 2009. There's no better place for a telescope than space itself. Above the Earth's atmosphere observations are no longer hampered by air turbulence, so telescopic images of distant stars and galaxies are razor-sharp. Unlike a ground-based telescope, an instrument in Earth orbit can operate twenty-four hours a day and reach every part of the sky. Observing from space also makes it possible to study types of radiation that are otherwise absorbed by the atmosphere. Little wonder that the Hubble Space Telescope has made so many contributions to astronomy. And Hubble is not alone — more than 100 space observatories have been launched since the 1960s.Watch this Hubblecast episode and find out more. The descriptions are available on the respective webpages, see: http://www.spacetelescope.org/videos/hubblecast24a/
09:13
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In this new Hubblecast episode, Dr. J guides us through the fifth chapter of Eyes on the Skies, the International Astronomical Union's movie celebrating the telescope on its 400th anniversary in 2009. The Universe is a black void, with a scattering of stars, nebulae and galaxies -- or so it appears to observers using visible light. But if we include other forms of radiation invisible to us, the picture changes completely: clouds of interstellar hydrogen gas, emitting radio waves; stellar nurseries, glowing in the infrared; explosive outbursts of gamma rays and the all-sky background hiss of the Big Bang, diluted by almost fourteen billion years of cosmic expansion. So how do astronomers learn about the unseen Universe? By building telescopes and detectors that can see the invisible. Watch this Hubblecast episode and find out more. The descriptions are available on the respective webpages, see: http://www.spacetelescope.org/videos/hubblecast23a/