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The Hubble Space Telescope: An Eye on
                                                the Universe

HST Update
October 29, 1997:

Hubble Catches Up with a Blue Straggler Star

Blue Stragglers in Globular Cluster 47 Tucanae

Blue Stragglers in Globular Cluster 47 Tucanae

October 29, 1997
Space Telescope Science Institute

Astronomers have long been mystified by observations of a few hot, bright, apparently young stars residing in well-established neighborhoods where most of their neighbors are much older. It's like finding teen-agers hanging out in stellar retirement homes.

With the help of the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers now have evidence that may eventually help solve the 45-year-old mystery of how these enigmatic stars, called blue stragglers, were formed. For the first time, astronomers have confirmed that a blue straggler in the core of a globular cluster (a very dense community of stars) is a massive, rapidly rotating star that is spinning 75 times faster than the Sun. This finding provides proof that blue stragglers are created by collisions or other intimate encounters in an overcrowded cluster core.


Click here to find out about the recent STS-82 mission or consult our Mission Calendar to see a synopsis of each day's activities.

The Hubble Space Telescope is a national asset. Scientists all over the world use the orbiting observatory to get a view of the universe that they can't get any other way.

HST has already made a major contribution to the science of astronomy.

With the new instruments recently installed on STS-82, the 2nd scheduled Hubble Service Mission, astronomers are anxious to see what new secrets of the universe they can uncover.

Tour this exhibit to learn more about this valuable astronomical tool, and learn why the new instruments are so important to scientific exploration.

An in-depth, but down-to-earth look at the technology, astronomy and science behind one of humankind's most fascinating and powerful eyes on the universe.

Here's a profile of mission STS-82, with a complete day-by-day mission calendar. Your host will be STS-82 crew member, Steve Smith, who will tell you about the mission in his own words. You'll find real NASA mission simulation images, an interactive calendar, daily updates and an audio tour by Steve, with a few surprises.


There's lots of great information out there about the HST. Here's a list of some of the best.

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