Dr. Mark Clampin



[female reporter] The world's most recognizable telescope, the Hubble Space Telescope is turning 25. Here to show us some of Hubble's most beautiful images an talk about some of the science, Hubble helped to discover, is Dr. Mark Clampin, from NASA's Goddard Space Flight center. Thanks for joining us. [Dr. Clampin] Hello. [female reporter] So, Hubble Space Telescope is turing 25, can you show us some of Hubble's most beautiful images? [Dr. Clampin] Sure, so I think every images Hubble takes is breath taking in its own way. this picture here you are about to see, is a picture of Jupiter and this one is particularly special because you see three of it's moons crossing in front of it. This is the Eagle Nebula which is a big dust cloud and this is the Cat's Eye Nebula or planetary nebula. Here we see two galaxies superposed on each other and then this is a image of the Hubble Deep Field showing distant galaxies in the universe then finally this is a very active galaxy called M82. [female reporter] What are some of the surprising things you've learned? [Dr. Clampin] Well we've learned a lot of really interesting things with Hubble and have rewritten the astronomy and astrophysics text books. One example is that the expanding universe is actually accelerating due to the unseen effect of dark energy. We've been able to images galaxies in the deep field back to a billion years after the big bang. Closer to home for instance in our own solar system we've been able to find that Pluto has five moons. [female reporter] Just yesterday you released a new image, can you talk about that? [Dr. Clampin] So the new image is called "Westerlend 2" and its a cluster of young stars Basically it's another region of intense star formation with lots of young stars being born and you can see sort of dust and gas to the lower left there and a cluster of stars to the top right. Very beautiful image. [female reporter] Hubble is also a human story, Astronauts service the telescope five times. Can you talk about some of the obsticales Hubble has overcome? [Dr. Clampin] Exactly, so everytime we service Hubble it's basically going to work in space and on some of the early missions, we were basically just replacing whole instruments. and the astronauts were able to overcome that challenge. On later servicing missions they actually had to service instruments in the bay and take panels off and put in individual circuits boards, which is much, much harder. So the challenges have gotten more and more and the astronauts have always met them. [female reporter] How has Hubble touched people? [Dr. Clampin] So, Hubble has touched our culture in a very big way. You see Hubble images every where, on stamps. You go into bookstores you see it on book covers you see Hubble images in museums. You often see them without realizing in TV shows and movies. But I think more importantly it's also got a generation of kids very interested in science at an early age and that's very important, get them interested in doing careers later on in science and engineering. [female reporter] In 2018, NASA will launch the James Webb Telescope tell us a little about this mission. [Dr. Clampin] So Webb is the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. It's basically is an infrared telescope, so Hubble sees visible light, like we do with our eyes. The James Webb Telescope will work in the infrareds and it will be able to peer into regions like the Eagle Nebula here where we know there is a nursery of stars being born. We will be able to peer into the dust and actually study the stars as they are being born. Understand how planets form around those stars in that process. [female reporter] Finally, where can we find out more? [Dr. Clampin] So you can find more about Hubble images at nasa.gov/hubble [female reporter] Great! Thanks for joining us.