Once we search for on the stars, it is humbling to understand we’re solely getting a peek at what’s up there, that means past what’s seen to the bare eye lie wondrous galaxies we by no means knew existed… till the Hubble House Telescope. For 28 years, because it was launched, Hubble has been sending us beautiful pictures of the huge heavens.  As we first advised you in October, astronauts have repeatedly upgraded Hubble over time, making its discoveries more and more dramatic. Tonight, we’ll take you again as much as Hubble, and billions of lightyears past, to see a few of its newest, most spectacular revelations.

The Red Tea Detox

The Hubble House Telescope


NASA celebrates Hubble’s birthday annually by giving us a present — a brand new, breath-taking view of our universe. The newest birthday card: this elegant swirl of galaxies dancing in tandem deep in house. Final yr — this bubble of stellar gases floating among the many stars, like a diaphanous, cosmic jellyfish. Hubble has proven us radiant rose-shaped galaxies stretching throughout deep house; and dramatic towering clouds of gasoline teeming with the stuff of creation. Stars are born right here. Yr after yr, within the infinite black canvas overhead, Hubble paints an ever-expanding image of our universe — an awe-inspiring mild present for us to admire … and for scientists to check.     

AMBER STRAUGHN: I consider Hubble has been the only most transformative scientific instrument that we have ever constructed.

“Most transformative,” says NASA astrophysicist Amber Straughn, as a result of Hubble retains bettering our understanding of the universe. She confirmed us what Hubble found after staring for days into what appeared to be an empty black patch — a deep, darkish void — in outer house.


NASA astrophysicist Amber Straughn and 60 Minutes correspondent Invoice Whitaker

CBS Information

AMBER STRAUGHN: The unique Hubble deep area is positioned simply above the Large Dipper. It is part of the sky that most individuals are acquainted with. It is a clean piece of sky.

“I consider Hubble has been the only most transformative scientific instrument that we have ever constructed.”

BILL WHITAKER: So simply nothing in right here, simply darkness.

AMBER STRAUGHN: Nothing in any respect. Full darkness.  After which, once we have a look at it with Hubble, what we see is hundreds of galaxies.

BILL WHITAKER: Not simply stars.



AMBER STRAUGHN: Galaxies outdoors of our personal. One thing we by no means imagined.

BILL WHITAKER: Is it that Hubble simply stares into that darkish spot till the sunshine penetrates and divulges itself?

AMBER STRAUGHN: That is precisely what occurs. It is typically many, many, many days of simply looking at one a part of the sky and permitting the photons to gather in your detector. 

BILL WHITAKER: And that is what’s revealed.

AMBER STRAUGHN: And that is what’s revealed.

However Hubble was simply warming up. That was 23 years in the past. Since then Hubble has stared deeper and longer into house with enhanced gear.

AMBER STRAUGHN: On this explicit picture, there are 10,000 galaxies. So each single level of sunshine is a person galaxy, its personal little island universe. And so this can be a actual visualization of the distances of those galaxies. So kind of like—

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A picture from the Hubble House Telescope. 



AMBER STRAUGHN: –3D, like we’re flying although. So we will make these pictures 3D as a result of we all know how far-off the galaxies are. What Hubble has basically given us is the dimensions of the universe. Hubble has taught us that the universe is stuffed with a whole lot of billions of different galaxies.

And now the most recent evaluation of Hubble’s information reveals there may very well be greater than two trillion galaxies—10 instances greater than beforehand thought. Typical galaxies, like our Milky Manner, have 100 billion stars. Which means the overall variety of stars—or suns on the market—is 2, adopted by 23 zeros. That is referred to as 200 sextillion. To get some sense of what number of stars that’s, we went to Adam Riess, who received a Nobel Prize for his work on Hubble.   

ADAM RIESS: That is extra stars within the seen universe than grains of sand on the seaside.


ADAM RIESS: On all of the seashores on Earth.

BILL WHITAKER:  And Hubble has proven us this?


This picture, created by the Hubble telescope, reveals a cluster of stars within the constellation Sagittarius


ADAM RIESS: It has. In lots of circumstances, it has allowed us to see what a number of the most distant galaxies appear like and what number of stars had been in them. And we have been in a position so as to add all of it up.

BILL WHITAKER:  Hubble has been referred to as a time machine — that it appears again in time. What has been essentially the most astounding a part of that for you?

ADAM RIESS: I examine explosions of stars referred to as supernovae. It is like fireworks. It is solely seen for a brief time period, on this case, just a few weeks. And that mild has been touring to us for 10 billion years. It started its journey when the Earth wasn’t even right here, And over these 10 billion years, our planet fashioned. Life developed. We constructed the Hubble House Telescope. We opened the aperture door. And within the final one-billionth of 1 % of that journey that the sunshine made, we opened the door simply in time to catch it.

Hubble nearly did not catch something. The primary footage it despatched again had been blurry due to a microscopic flaw within the mirror. The House Company launched a daring mission to repair it.


Meet the “Hubble repairman,” astronaut John Grunsfeld


Astronauts have made 5 journeys to Hubble to restore and improve its gear. John Grunsfeld, often known as the Hubble repairman, flew three of these missions, to a telescope the dimensions of a college bus, orbiting 300 miles above Earth.

JOHN GRUNSFELD: Absolutely anything that we will simply change and improve and repair has been fastened.

BILL WHITAKER: The workings of the telescope, all of that has been reworked.

JOHN GRUNSFELD: Yeah. It is sort of a new telescope.

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BILL WHITAKER:  In your final mission you come out of the airlock and you have this massive smile in your face. 

JOHN GRUNSFELD:  I assumed, You understand, I can not think about anyplace I might quite be than outdoors the house shuttle in my house go well with subsequent to the Hubble House Telescope. I used to be simply so glad.

Hubble has modified what we all know in regards to the universe—its construction, evolution, it is age—13.eight billion years. Hubble confirmed us the marvel and majesty of stars being born.  

AMBER STRAUGHN: It is a area of gasoline and mud that is churning up new child stars. And now we have realized with Hubble, not solely stars but additionally child planet techniques.

BILL WHITAKER: Most of those stars have planets going round them?

AMBER STRAUGHN: Most stars truly do have planets. After I was a child, we solely knew of the planets inside our photo voltaic system. And now we all know that the planets are completely in every single place.

Astronomer Heidi Hammel makes a speciality of Hubble’s work inside our photo voltaic system. With the telescope she noticed enormous fragments of a comet slam into Jupiter creating large impacts.

HEIDI HAMMEL: After I first heard {that a} comet was going to hit Jupiter, my response was, “Eh. So what?  Jupiter’s enormous. Comets are small. And so once I noticed the primary impression website and it was enormous and darkish, I used to be flabbergasted. That is the place the comet has smacked into the planet at such a excessive velocity that it is triggered an explosion the equal of many, many thousands and thousands of atomic bombs.

HEIDI HAMMEL: The Earth is the dimensions of that ring. And so if this occasion, had occurred on Earth it—

BILL WHITAKER: We’re gone.

HEIDI HAMMEL: Yeah, We we name {that a} biosphere-changing occasion, which principally means we would be gone. 

Hubble orbits excessive, outdoors Earth’s environment so it will possibly see a large spectrum of sunshine our environment blocks. Past Earth’s protecting layer, Hubble’s ultraviolet digicam can spot dazzling shows like this glowing halo on prime of Jupiter.

HEIDI HAMMEL: Up within the northern hemisphere what you are seeing is the glowing aurorae. An aurora occurs when the planet’s magnetic area has charged particles that work together with the higher environment. What you are seeing there’s truly charged particles from the solar. They get swept up in Jupiter’s robust magnetic area. After which it is mirrored in that shimmering that you simply see contained in the aurora oval.

BILL WHITAKER: And you wouldn’t have the ability to see that with an Earth telescope?

HEIDI HAMMEL: You may by no means see these aurorae as a result of our environment has an ozone layer that absorbs the ultraviolet mild. 

Hubble additionally discovered the same blue hue on the backside of Saturn. The telescope’s most iconic image is that this: the pillars of creation, a stellar breeding place. Amber Straughn confirmed us what a distinction Hubble’s upgraded infrared digicam made, simply three years in the past.   

AMBER STRAUGHN: Stars are born inside these mud clouds. And that is gonna offer you a clue on why infrared is so necessary is as a result of in infrared mild, what you see is the celebs inside shining by way of.

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BILL WHITAKER:  You see the celebs inside. How massive is that this cloud space?

AMBER STRAUGHN: High to backside, these pillars are about ten mild years, which is about 60 trillion miles.

BILL WHITAKER: 60 trillion miles?

AMBER STRAUGHN: Sure. House is massive.

“Large” and miraculous with fixed celestial regeneration. Straughn calls this “the every part image” as a result of you’ll be able to see previous stars blowing up — and new stars forming.      

AMBER STRAUGHN: Any time you see these types of darkish cloudy areas, you’ll be able to think about that there is stars being born inside there.

BILL WHITAKER: The place are the dying stars?

AMBER STRAUGHN: And the dying stars, we predict that this one may explode any day, actually, or it may very well be a thousand years from now.  However close to close to time period in astronomers’ —

BILL WHITAKER: In cosmic time, any day.

AMBER STRAUGHN: Proper. So massive stars, after they die, they explode and ship their contents into the encompassing universe. And these contents are what seed future stars and future planets and assist to seed life, in the end. The iron in your blood and the calcium in your bones was actually solid within a star that ended its life like this.

BILL WHITAKER:  So we’re all stardust.

AMBER STRAUGHN: We actually are stardust. We’re viscerally fabricated from the celebs. One of many issues I feel is outstanding about this picture is it reveals you the way colourful the universe is.

BILL WHITAKER: This appears like up to date artwork.

AMBER STRAUGHN: It is a very tightly sure group of stars.  And what you see right here is about 100,000 stars. This was one of many first pictures that Hubble’s new digicam, put in in 2009, this was one of many first pictures it took. 

Blue stars are the youngest and hottest. White and yellow stars, like our solar, are mid-life; whereas pink stars are the oldest and coolest. John Grunsfeld has a cool declare to fame. He is the final human to the touch Hubble. He gave it a farewell pat.

BILL WHITAKER: Hubble was deliberate to reside for 15 years. It is now been 27. How for much longer can Hubble go?

JOHN GRUNSFELD:  I am fairly assured it’ll proceed one other three to 5 years.

Which means for some time at the very least, Hubble will work in tandem with its successor, the a lot bigger James Webb telescope scheduled to launch in 2021. Webb ought to have the ability to detect mild from the very earliest galaxies. The farthest again Hubble can see is that this pink blob, a galaxy from 400 million years after the Large Bang. Webb ought to take us a lot nearer to the start of time.

JOHN GRUNSFELD:  So the James Webb House Telescope was particularly designed to see the primary stars and galaxies that had been fashioned within the universe. So we’re gonna see the snapshot of when stars began. When galaxies began. The very first moments of the universe. And my wager? There’s gonna be some massive surprises.

Produced by Robert G. Anderson, Aaron Weisz and William Harwood.



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