The Sock Diary

Musings of a part-time Sweaty Sock.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Losing Hubble

Why have I never heard of the Spitzer telescope? And I thought I read enough to keep vaguely up with this stuff. Anyway, check out about a mini solar system forming. Not the real deal, it's solar system like behaviour round a brown dwarf, but apparently scientists are going to be able to work some useful stuff out from watching it in action. Most interesting (to me) on this page was the second image on the "Click here to learn more about the Spitzer Telescope". Explains where this, and the other oribiting telescopes, including Hubble, fit in. Changes my perception of the impact of losing Hubble.

Although losing Hubble is a gutter, I believe it is far more important to get manned missions back to the Moon and out to Mars, than to take pictures of the universe. I know it's important work, and has already brought benefits to the scientific community and the general public, but mankind still has all it's eggs in one basket. Earth. Getting knowledge of how it all began and is likely to play out isn't going to do us much good if an asteroid hits the planet, or a pissed off bunch of bug-eyed aliens decide we're the galactic equivalent of toe-jam. At least with colonies we may have options.

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