March 26, 2012 - Hubble Bubble

Hubble Bubble A delicate sphere of gas, captured by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, floats serenely in the depths of space. The pristine shell, or bubble, is the result of gas that is being shocked by the expanding blast wave from a supernova. Called SNR 0509, the bubble is the visible remnant of a powerful stellar explosion in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a small galaxy about 160,000 light-years from Earth. Ripples in the shell’s surface may be caused by either subtle variations in the density of the ambient interstellar gas, or possibly driven from the interior by pieces of the ejecta. The bubble is twenty-three light-years across and is expanding at more than 18 million kilometers (11 million miles) per hour. This Hubble image utilized the Advanced Camera for Surveys and the Wide Field Imager 3.

Image credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) / J. Hughes (Rutgers University)

Weekly Calendar

March 26 - April 1, 2012

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 26

Moon at apogee
Venus 1.8° north of Moon

2009: Soyuz TMA-14 launched carrying ISS Expedition 19/20 crew

Moon phase Tuesday 27

Venus at greatest elongation (46° E)
Juno appears stationary

1969: Mariner 7 launched
1972: Venera 8 launched
1989: Contact lost with Phobos 2
1999: First Sea Launch mission

Moon phase Wednesday 28

1802: Heinrich Olbers discovers asteroid Pallas
1963: Fourth Saturn C-1 rocket (SA-4) launched

Moon phase Thursday 29

1807: Heinrich Olbers discovers Vesta
1974: Mariner 10 first Mercury flyby
1989: Starfire 1 launched
2006: ISS Expedition 13 crew launched

Moon phase Friday 30

First Quarter Moon 3:41 PM ET

Moon phase Saturday 31

1962: NASA approves final design of Gemini spacecraft
1982: Kvant module launched to Mir space station
1997: Pioneer 10 mission officially ends

Moon phase Sunday 1

Palm Sunday

1960: TIROS 1 launched
1997: Comet Hale-Bopp’s closest approach to Sun
1998: TRACE launched

Suggestions for new history dates or better links? Corrections for errors on this page? Please e-mail me.