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Hubble at 25, Star Trek selfies on the ISS, Wu-Tang Clan physics and more

Hubble's official 25 anniversary image of the Westerlund 2 cluster.

Shine on: Hubble’s official 25 anniversary image of the Westerlund 2 cluster.
(Courtesy: NASA, ESA, (STScI/AURA), A. Nota (ESA/STScI), Westerlund 2 Science Team)

By Tushna Commissariat

25 years ago today, the ESA/NASA Hubble Space Telescope (HST) was launched aboard the Discovery space shuttle and since then, it has changed the face of observational astronomy as we know it; taking millions of people worldwide from their homes to the most distant and far-flung reaches of the universe and the imagination. The telescope has also been instrumental in some of the biggest, Nobel-prize-winning discoveries in physics in the past two decades, including that of the accelerating expansion of the universe. The stunning image above of the giant cluster of nearly 3000 stars dubbed “Westerlund 2” was especially released yesterday to celebrate Hubble’s 25th anniversary. The stellar nursery is difficult to observe because it is surrounded by dust, but Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 peered through the dusty veil in near-infrared light, giving astronomers a clear view of the cluster. Once you are done staring in awe at the image, watch the short video below, put together by NASA on the HST’s lifetime.

In keeping with the space theme, take a look at the wonderful image in this Huffington Post story, of Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, currently on the International Space Station, as she took a photo of herself wearing the uniform top from the Star Trek: Voyager TV series. Cristoforetti has featured in the Red Folder in the past – for being the first female Italian astronaut to go into space and for bringing along an espresso machine created by Lavazza dubbed the ISSpresso.

In other news, it seems that we have another excellent addition to our list of celebrities with an interest in physics, as it has emerged that GZA, one of the founding members of hip-hop legends the Wu-Tang Clan, will be giving a lecture at MIT where he will talk to students about his “latest album, and how art and outer space collide,” according to The Boston Globe. This will not be GZA’s first academic rodeo – in fact, he has previously lectured at MIT in 2012. Indeed, he featured in Physics World magazine in 2013 when he released a new album called Dark Matter, which, according to the rapper, was partially inspired by quantum physics.

And for some weekend reading, take a look at this paper, published in the journal Physics Education, which looks into the physics of the “tablecloth pull” trick. They have some fun high-speed camera videos and images of a tablecloth being pulled and not a single drop of wine was spilt!

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  1. Trackback: Physics Viewpoint | Hubble at 25, Star Trek selfies on the ISS, Wu-Tang Clan physics and more

  2. glenn simpson

    hubble was an exciting venture;i hope there are other,as-well,ventures being prepared by our scientists at nasa;there are hopeful designs in all fields,let’s present a few from science;bye.


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