How would knowing more about space change all our daily lives? We may never know until we do know more and there’s an easy way to achieve that!

Image: A white sparkling double armed spiral gallaxy

The Barred Spiral Gallaxy
Source: NASA

Turns out there is an amazing place on the web where there are countless videos, stunning images, and no end to the insights for ordinary people, all collected by the Hubble Telescope project.

Even if you are not a science geek at all, the wonders we discovered while doing our research for this article are jaw-dropping.

Have you heard about the recent discoveries and beauty of Hubble’s new specialty: deep space?

In today’s EWC article, we’ll raise all our knowledge to something way above average and then you can explore yourself.

Image: Hubble photo of the Crab nebula

The Great Crab Nebula SOURCE: NASA

First, let’s give that questions of how much we actually know about Hubble some thought.

My initial impulse was to assume everybody knew a fair amount, accept me.

But one night recently I was on a dock in Canada watching a spectacular display of the northern lights against a background of dazzling stars and we were all a little stunned about how little we knew about what we were watching. This was a group of fairly smart people and we all realized we had only vague notions about the universe and we all knew of the Hubble Telescope, but not much past the fact that it’s doing some astounding science.

And then there’s the “Time Machine” aspect to the images we are getting from Hubble. Now how is The Hubble Telescope a time machine? That was another wonder that all of us had completely missed!

Image: A salmon colored place in space with sparkling stars

The Horse Head Nebula Source: NASA

So let’s dig into this a bit. First, a little background knowledge to set the stage for today’s exploration:

The Hubble Telescope was launched in 1990, and now in 2016 and after a few upgrades, we are getting views of the universe no one could have imagined.

Remember, in 1990, there was no World Wide Web, no GPS, no cloning technology, no email, and “social networking” meant showing up to every Church Potluck dinner and ice cream social.

Imagine how rudimentary computing was in 1990, and yet mankind managed to get a telescope into space that has been a workhorse for over a quarter of a century!

Here’s a video to get us into the right frame of mind to explore this time machine concept:

Via: SpaceRip 1

Wonderful! Now we’ve got the basics.

So how big are the discoveries we’ve made with Hubble? Take 6 minutes to get a load of this!…

So a 25-year-old piece of space machinery has led us to the understanding of…

  • The accelerating expansion of the universe
  • Super Massive Black Holes in the centers of Galaxies
  • Something called “Dark Matter’ that may fill 70% of the universe
  • The existence of countless planets much like our own
  • Hubble may soon allow us to detect the signatures of life forms on distant planets

All that can be a little overwhelming for the average person to consider, but instead of opting out, I got curious.

Let’s explore just a few of the seemingly endless videos from the Hubble project website.

Here’s a short piece that brings in a few more cosmic concepts that give us the scope of why a space telescope is so special:

Okay… I was following all this, so I kept going.

How is Hubble a Time Machine? Here’s a short piece so we can appreciate this wonder:

And what about these “Deep Field” photographs from Hubble? Are they a milestone in human understanding?

Check this out! Here’s the Extreme Field View:

This is great stuff!

I wasn’t following everything, but I’m practically an astronomer compared to the knowledge I had when we started this little journey today!

This is a great base for more exploration, and at the very least, I’ll browse the thousands of beautiful galactic images on NASA’s Hubble Website. Go to a website called Hubblesite.org, and get lost in the endless photos, videos, links, apps, blogs and more related to the Hubble Telescope’s mission and astronomy in general.

Image: A galaxy filled corner of Hubble's field of view

Source: NASA

If you want to start somewhere on the Hubble project website, click here. I recommend the Hubble Image page that is constructed like a blog. The awe-inspiring images are explained in good detail and you learn a little with every wonder-inspiring article.

I don’t know about you, but I’m conflicted: When we consider the infinite distances in the cosmos, it makes me feel incredibly small, powerless, and maybe even insignificant… but then when I come back to my place here on this spinning blue planet, I can’t help but acknowledge that our words and  actions can cause wrinkles in time – change the future, like ripples on a pond – and that we can each affect our own little corner of the universe.

All this seems to make minute to minute decisions seem overwhelmingly important and something at which I’ll try to do better.

Now, by knowing more about this bit of cosmic real estate, I know so much more about myself!

Stay open, curious and hopeful!

~ Dr. Lynda

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Notes:

  1. “Hubble Telescope Space-Shattering Discoveries.” YouTube. SpaceRip, 28 Apr. 2010. Web. 30 Oct. 2016. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=–X9zfgZtS0>.
  2. “Expect the Unexpected.” YouTube. Hubble Space Telescope, 08 Apr. 2015. Web. 30 Oct. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g889verOmbE>.
  3. “Advantages of Space Telescopes – Cosmic Concepts.” YouTube. Hubble Space Telescope, 08 Mar. 2016. Web. 30 Oct. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYEUu_XFkdY>.
  4. “The Incredible Time Machine.” YouTube. Hubble Space Telescope, 24 Apr. 2015. Web. 30 Oct. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IhcO4f3CEM>.
  5. “Hubble Extreme Deep Field Pushes Back Frontiers of Time and Space.”YouTube. Hubble Space Telescope, 25 Sept. 2012. Web. 30 Oct. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gu_VhzhlqGw>.

Dr. Lynda is a dentist, artist, global traveler, and philanthropist who looks for potential and shares it with the world.