View larger. | A pair of oddball galaxies – both hundreds of thousands of light-years from us – captured by the Hubble Space Telescope following its reboot last weekend. The orbiting telescope was launched in 1990. Image via STScI.
The dream lives
Astronomers are breathing easier this week, since the Hubble Space Telescope has come back online. The orbiting telescope had been in a protective safe mode since June 13, 2021. And a team of experts worked feverishly to repair it throughout late June and early July. The problem had to do with a degrading computer memory module. The great, but aging, telescope finally resumed science operations on July 15, after its handlers switched it to backup hardware. Today, (July 19, 2021), the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore (STScI) released the first images from Hubble since its rebooting. The images show a beautiful pair of oddball galaxies, part of a program to survey oddball galaxies scattered across the sky.
Julianne Dalcanton of the University of Washington in Seattle leads the galaxy program. More about the galaxies below. But first a word about what this telescope means to astronomers. Planetary astronomer Heidi B. Hammel wrote about it in a blog ...