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HubbleSOURCE

Informal Science Education Resources
from the home of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope

Exhibit Components

Display Transparencies

We have taken some of Hubble’s best images, added unobtrusive captions to them, and created 30- by 40-inch transparencies that adorn our flight operations center here at the Space Telescope Science Institute. These can make for a wonderful gallery of backlit images for display in your astronomy exhibit or planetarium lobby.

It costs us about $140 to have one of these made into a Kodak Duratrans transparency from a digital file. The digital files are available at no charge and can be accessed here. (Caution: These are large TIFF-file downloads.) Contact us if you need information about service bureaus or light boxes.

 

A cyclone on Mars

A cyclone on Mars

Download TIFF File (6.5MB)

Caption:
In April 1999 Hubble spotted a cyclonic cloud formation swirling near the Martian North Pole. This was the height of summer in the Northern Hemisphere of Mars, so the north polar cap is relatively tiny. Much of the carbon-dioxide ice that covers the poles during a Martian winter returns temporarily to the atmosphere during summer, revealing deeper layers of permanent water ice.

Hubble Space Telescope • Wide Field Planetary Camera 2

Photo Credit: NASA, S. Lee (University of Colorado), J. Bell (Cornell University), and M. Wolff (Space Science Institute)

STScI-1999-27

Saturn Ring Crossing

Saturn Ring Crossing

Download TIFF File (7.1MB)

Caption:
Looming like a giant flying saucer in our outer solar system, Saturn puts on a show as the planet and its magnificent ring system nod majestically over the course of its 29-year journey around the Sun. In these Hubble images, captured from 1996 to 2000, Saturn’s rings open up from just past edge-on to nearly fully open as the planet moves from autumn toward winter in its Northern Hemisphere.

Saturn’s equator is tilted relative to its orbit by 27 degrees, which is similar to Earth’s 23-degree tilt. As Saturn moves along its orbit, first one hemisphere, then the other is tilted toward the Sun. This causes seasons on Saturn. The first image in this sequence, on the lower left, was taken soon after autumn began in Saturn’s Northern Hemisphere (the start of spring in its Southern Hemisphere). By the final image, on the upper right, the tilt is nearing its extreme, the onset of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and summer in the South.

Saturn’s rings are only about 30 feet thick. They are made of dusty water ice in boulder-sized and smaller chunks that gently collide with each other as they orbit around Saturn. Saturn’s gravitational field keeps them spread out, preventing them from combining to form a moon. The gaseous planet is about 75,000 miles across and is flattened at the poles because of its very rapid rotation. A day is only 10 hours long on Saturn. Strong winds account for the horizontal atmospheric bands.

Hubble Space Telescope • Wide Field Planetary Camera 2

Photo Credit: NASA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

STScI-2001-15

Saturn

Saturn

Download TIFF File (3.9MB)

Caption:
Bands of subtle color distinguish differences in the clouds over Saturn, the second largest planet in the solar system. Saturn’s high-altitude clouds are made of colorless ammonia ice. Above these clouds is a layer of haze or smog, produced when ultraviolet light from the Sun shines on methane gas. The smog contributes to the planet’s subtle color variations. One of Saturn’s moons, Enceladus, is seen casting a shadow on the giant planet as it passes just above the ring system. The planet’s spectacular ring system consists mostly of chunks of water ice. Although appearing as if composed of only a few rings, the ring system actually has tens of thousands of thin “ringlets.” Hubble’s view shows the two classic divisions in the ring system. The narrow Encke Gap is nearest to the disk’s outer edge; the Cassini division is the wide gap near the center.

Hubble Space Telescope • Wide Field Planetary Camera 2

Photo Credit: NASA and the Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI)

STScI-1998-28

Jupiter's Great Red Spot

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot

Download TIFF File (16MB)

Caption:
When 19th century astronomers turned their telescopes to Jupiter, they noted a reddish spot on the giant planet. The Great Red Spot is still present in Jupiter’s atmosphere some 150 years later. It is a vast storm, spinning like a cyclone. Unlike a low-pressure hurricane in the Caribbean Sea, however, the Red Spot rotates in a counterclockwise direction in the Southern Hemisphere, showing that it is a high-pressure system. Winds inside this Jovian storm reach speeds of about 270 miles per hour. The Great Red Spot is the largest known storm in the solar system, almost twice the size of the entire Earth.

Hubble Space Telescope • Wide Field Planetary Camera 1 and 2

Photo Credit: NASA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), and Amy Simon (Cornell University)

STScI-1999-29

Heart of the Great Orion Nebula

Heart of the Great Orion Nebula

Download TIFF File (17.1MB)

Caption:
Hubble reveals a spectacular color panorama of the center of the Orion nebula, a star-forming region located 1,500 light-years away. The mosaic was assembled from 15 separate Hubble views of the vast nebula, resolving details of star birth as small as 4 billion miles across – roughly half the diameter of our solar system. Scattered among the 500 stars in this sweeping photo mosaic are several disks of dust encircling stars. One such disk – resembling an interstellar Frisbee – is tilted edge-on, hiding the young star at its center. In addition, the survey yields 153 disks that are glowing due to a torrent of ultraviolet radiation from the nebula’s central stars.

Hubble Space Telescope • Wide Field Planetary Camera 2

Photo Credit: NASA, C.R. O’Dell and S.K. Wong (Rice University)

STScI-1995-45

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