NASA/ESA’s Hubble Space Telescope is about to receive its final upgrade, one that they hope means another 5 years of use. Atlantis and a crew of seven astronauts took off today, but it almost didn’t happen. Hubble Huggers such as Fernando Ribeiro, who founded the site SaveTheHubble, were undoubtedly partially responsible. He collected about 5,500 signatures on a petition to reverse a decision by NASA to postpone a Hubble repair mission after the 2003 Columbia disaster. NASA credits the support as part of the reason it changed its mind.
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The Comet C/2007 N3, also known as Lulin, was discovered in July of 2007. If you would like to take a peek at it, now is the time. It can be seen with binoculars if the sky is clear and there are reports that some have seen it without them. If you have a telescope you might get to see its tail and antitail. Lumin will be closest to the earth February 24. Hit the link if you want more details, like where it can be spotted in your area. And after reading that, go outside and look for it!
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While we are on the subject of gadgets for iPhone 3Gs, there is now a 6x Zoom Telescope available for the near-sighted or simply nosy. Brando claims that it has a super wide angle, a larger luminous flux, better color, and a higher visual acuteness. Simple to assemble, the package includes a crystal case, neck strap, and adapter. There is also a telescope available for 2G iPhones. Each one will set you back $19.00.
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Canadian scientists have been hard at work building the planet’s first space telescope that will detect both satellites and asteroids with continuous tracking. The NEOSSat (Near Earth Object Surveillance Satellite) cost $12 million to build, is only 15cm and weighs 65kg. It will be launched off other spacecraft and should improve surveillance of space objects as well as evil doers checking us out by satellite. Look for the the NEOSSat, which is funded by the Defence Research Development Canada (DRDC) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA,) to take off in 2010.
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Meade has added to its family of telescopes with mySky. The point-and-shoot device features a 480 x 234 display, a 12 channel GPS receiver for auto alignment, electronic accelerometers for direction finding, and magnetic North sensors. It has audio to match what you are seeing, so it is like having your own planetarium. With powersaving capability, it will last up to six hours with its 4 x AA (not included) batteries, storage with an included 256MB SD card, and earbuds. Check out Mead’s site for a nice video clip of the mySky at work.
Read More | mySky Product Page
Skygazers, you can now turn your cell phone or PDA into a cell phone into a 7 x 18 telescope. The Generic Mobile Phone Telescope will fit most models that are 91 to 109 mm length and tested specifically on the Nokia N95, Sony Ericsson K810i and W810i, HTC P4350, and ASUS P535. You simply mount the adapter, align the attachment base with the camera lens, and screw on the telescope. The lens rotates for adjusting the image through the LCD display. The gadget is availiable with neckstrap and adapter for $22.00 at Brando.
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