I barely scratched the surface of what the Hubble Space Telescope has achieved this quarter century, and yet somehow I have found myself in a position to where I make the majority of my income sharing the profound stories of science, exploration, collaboration and innovation that this remarkable observatory has taken on.
Part two of “Conversations with an Astrophysicist” on the Cosmic Microwave Background will be live on 1 November at 0700 UTC! Join Katie Mack and Scott Lewis as they go a little deeper into the beginning of the Universe on YouTube & Google+!
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In the second week of May, we at the Virtual Star Party on Google+ decided to hold a contest. Every week, we have a live show where we connect telescopes to cameras from across the world and stream their views live into a Google+ Hangout On Air. While this is happening, however, many other astronomers have started adding their photos into the Event, sharing their still images while we’re live. Because of this fantastic amount of interaction and engagement with our audience, we went forward with a photo contest, where the winners would have their astrophotography featured on the banners, icons and various graphics we use on the show and social media outlets. The response was nothing short of breathtaking. There were about 120 entries submitted in total. Men and Women from across the world joined in by looking up into the Cosmos, capturing those moments, then shared them with the rest of us in the contest. Various types of optics were used, from 14″ Newtonian telescopes to 135mm camera lenses to binoculars. This doesn’t even include the different cameras used! Modified DSLR cameras pitted against dedicated telescope detectors with some iPhone shots thrown into the mix as well! At the end of the day, I was left with the overwhelming task of being the judge of this contest. It wasn’t easy, to say the least. There were no precise criteria that were taken into consideration, except that it needed to be their own work with the details of the object, optics and detector used to capture the image. All sorts of different objects were submitted: Moon, Nebulae, Galaxies,...