space telescope science institute

space telescope science institute

New Technique Increases Hubble's Precision by a Factor of 10

8h ago
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Astronomers at the Space Telescope Science Institute have devised a new technique that allows the +Hubble Space Telescope to more accurately measure distances to stars within our galaxy - up to 10 times farther than previously possible using a method known as parallax. Parallax is the most reliable method for directly measuring distances to stars within our galaxy. It uses the geometry of the Earth's orbit around the Sun to see tiny, almost imperceptible shifts of background stars behind the object being measured. Previously this technique was only effective for distances up to 750 light years. Anything further away and we couldn't see the background stars shift; the change was too small. This new capability allows astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope to measure parallax distances up to 7,500 light years away - an astonishing increase in precision of a factor of 10! Please join us as +Tony Darnell and +Scott Lewis discuss this new technique with Dr. Adam Riess, winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics and Dr. Stefano Casertano, the developers of this new ability for #Hubble .