Yes, it is the post you’ve all been waiting for – the september 2009 release of new Hubble Pictures, the first data release since refurbishment – judging by the search terms being used to find this site today… I delayed it in order to get actual footage of the news conference off NASA’s Youtube Channel. It is there, so now this can come here.
For those who can’t wait any longer, the ten pics released today to show the effectiveness of Hubble after the refurbishment of Hubble Servicing Mission Four (STS-125), they are available here. There are ten images released (more taken, including some of Neptune), including two nebulae, a starfield within a globular cluster, some galaxies, gravitational lensing and some science from a supernova remnant’s composition, the changing outflow rates of an active galaxy, a pulsar’s spectrum as well as that of Eta Carina.
How has this been playing in the news? Well, I just watched the BBC news report and Newsnight ended with a show of the pictures under the rolling credits. First images were revealed through ABC’s report here (even before the main events). NASA sent out a press release shortly afterward, hailing the results. Then blogs such as Universe Today and Astronomy Now put in their reviews of the images. The Times has this report tomorrow. Discovery have also put up a slideshow.
Of course looking is never good enough, so some comparisons have been made between old Hubble and new Hubble, out of which new Hubble comes very well.
Finally, NASA have stuck up a few things on their Youtube Channel, these include the original press conference, the STS-125 crew of the space shuttle Atlantis, who did the work, giving a press conference and Hubble Time. These are reproduced below: