A servicing mission was planned for the 19-year-old Hubble Space Telescope years ago, but after the instrument command and data handling module failed the repair mission was postponed so that an even more comprehensive repair mission could be undertaken. Three months ago the space shuttle Atlantis launched and successfully repaired the telescope. The instruments on the telescope which were repaired or replaced include the Wide Field Camera 3, the Advanced Camera for Surveys, the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph, and the Space Telescope imaging Spectrograph. So NASA is patting its back right now on a job well done and releasing an entire gallery of press images for the publicity, but there are real promises for science to come.
My favorite image is that of Planetary Nebula NGC 6302 (which could easily be called the Butterfly Nebula, but the name is taken), but the comparison of Stephan's Quintet taken by Hubble to the image I took using the Harlan J. Smith Telescope at the McDonald observatory is laughable.
Tricksy solicitation callers
9 hours ago in The Phytophactor