The World According to the Hubble Telescope - Astronomy Essay Example

The World According to the Hubble Telescope

            A recent event presented by the astronomy department, entitled “The World According to the Hubble Telescope,” is part of the famous 2008 lectures of Icko Iben, Jr - The World According to the Hubble Telescope introduction. in Astronomy. The event is delivered and discussed by Dr. Mario Livio, a senior astrophysicist and head of the Office of Public Outreach at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI). Dr. Livio has a Ph.D. in theoretical astrophysics which he obtained from Tel Aviv University of Israel. Dr. Livio was a professor from the Physics Department of the Techion-Israel Institute of Technology from 1981 to 1991. Dr Livio joined STScI by 1991. Dr. Livio has many accomplishments in his career. Dr. Livio has published more than 400 scientific papers. In addition to that, he also has three popular books namely “Accelerating the universe”, “The Golden Ratio”, and “The Equation that can’t be Solved”. Among his three popular books, “The Golden Ratio” won the Peano award in 2003 and the International Pythagoras Prize in 2004 as a popular book in mathematics.

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            In his lecture, Dr. Livio focused on the important contributions of the Hubble telescope in astronomy today. The Hubble Telescope, named after the trailblazing Astronomer Edwin Hubble, was launched in 1990. After its launch, the Hubble telescope revolutionized our view of the outer space. Dr. Livio specifically discussed certain points about the discoveries made through the use of the Hubble telescope. Some of the main points in the lecture were about our solar system, the discovery of extra solar planets, the birth and death of stars, black holes, deep fields and cosmic history, the Hubble constant, and the accelerating universe.

In his discussion about our solar system, Dr. Livio focused on the collision of comet SL-9 with the Jupiter. The collision of the comet SL-9 or the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet was captured by the Hubble telescope. The comet was ripped to 20 fragments, which was possibly caused by a tidal disruption as the comet was approaching Jupiter.

Subsequently, Dr. Livio discussed the extra solar planets, particularly the Hubble telescope’s discovery of circumstellar disks which were said to be the birth place of a new solar system. Dr. Livio also provided an elaborate discussion of the birth and death of stars. His lecture about this topic was centered on three things: Outflows and jets from young stellar objects, protoplanetary disks, and the morphology of stellar deaths.

For the next topic, the black holes, the discussion focused on search techniques for super massive black holes, the MBH or the mass of black hole relationship, intermediate-mass black holes, and gamma-ray bursts. Dr. Livio then proceeded with his next topic, the deep fields and cosmic history. His lecture centered on the morphology and sizes of high-redshift galaxies and the global cosmic star-formation history.

Dr. Livio also discussed some important things about the Hubble constant like its background, distance indicators and methods, and some results. In the last topic, he explained the accelerating universe and described the accelerating universe observations, alternative interpretations, Supernova 1997ff – serendipity and careful planning, and lastly, the nature of “dark energy.”

            Overall, the event is very interesting and successful. I like the way Dr. Livio discussed all of these things about the discoveries made by the Hubble telescope. Also, the pictures that were taken by the telescope are so fascinating. The pictures gave us a clear view of what we can see outside of the earth and our solar system. The pictures are very interesting in a way that the pictures also made me imagine the other things that might be discovered in the near future, such as the existence of extraterrestrial beings. Hence, with the advances in our technology and the continuous contributions of the Hubble Space Telescope, I know that astronomy as a field of study will never be the same again.

 

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