The Hubble Can Rent a Car, Fix Your Eyes

Astronauts train for certain missions, including Hubble service repair, by performing in special underwater tanks.  This simulates a zero gravity environment.

Astronauts train for certain missions, including Hubble service repair, by performing in special underwater tanks.  This simulates a zero gravity environment.

Many widely known images of the galaxy have been taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, which turns 25 this year (time to rent a car!). NASA has created a fantastic video to discuss one of the later repairs to the Space Telescope Imaging Spectograph (STIS). It's a great example of geniuses at Johnson Space Center in Houston having to quickly come up with a solution when astronauts on a spacewalk could not correctly perform a repair.

The advances from fixing the Hubble's mirror will be rolled into the James Webb Space Telescope, as well as ... your eyes. Check out the following video to see how the technology is used to improve LASIK vision correction.

Check out more Hubble goodness here at the official NASA site, or the Hubble 25th anniversary site.

Orion and the Seven Sisters (#Extant E4)

I livetweet CBS' sci-fi show Extant every Wed night on Twitter at 8pm - check out the storify at the end of the article or click here!

On the last episode of CBS's new sci fi show Extant, Molly lies in bed with her son Ethan and discusses a very popular set of stars known as the Pleiades Star Cluster. This cluster of stars has been very prominent in the sky over human history, and many cultures have created stories around them.

A color-composite image of the Pleiades from the   Digitized Sky Survey   Credit:   NASA  /  ESA  /  AURA  /  Caltech

A color-composite image of the Pleiades from the Digitized Sky Survey
Credit: NASA/ESA/AURA/Caltech

One of the most famous stories, which Molly shares with Ethan, is that of the seven sisters. According to

"Native Americans thought the cluster formed when a group of women chased by bears asked a stone to help them run from the animals. The stone rose up, protecting them and forming Devil's Tower in Wyoming. The women then became the stars of the cluster.

In Greek mythology, Orion the Hunter chased the seven sisters around Earth. After crying out to the gods for help, the sisters were turned into the stars of the cluster. The gods also placed Orion in the sky after the sting of a scorpion killed him."

Tough break for the women in these culture's, huh? I guess they are always being hunted. In any case, it's pretty amazing that different cultures all have stories that are somewhat similar.  The power of the human mind.

For a recap of the complete episode of Extant (spoiler alert), please check out the Storify below!

Sciencestagram: Get Up On It

(Editor's note: I'm happy to announce that that has won the 2013 Black Weblog Award for Best Science and Technology Blog, Thank you for your support!)

Science is everywhere and it looks good!  It's pretty easy to find science on websites (hello), by following people on social media (hello), or by viewing television / radio shows by luminaries like Neil deGrasse Tyson.  However, one lesser known place has some amazing stuff - Instagram!  

Instagram is a lot more than selfie-obsessed tweens and people that can't cook worth a damn. The beauty of science is that a picture is truly worth a thousand words. I'm happy that science resources are using social network to push information to where people actually are, instead of waiting for people to come to their individual sites. Check out the story below at Read Write Web for 10 instagram accounts that you should be aware of!  

As you can tell, my favorite Instagram account from the list is the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. They update often and deliver stunning images. ,They have a larger, higher quality selection on Flickr but the social networking aspect of Instagram means that I'm on there a lot more than I am on Flickr.

NASA's Year of Awesome

2012 was an amazing year for space exploration. NASA has put together a great interactive infographic showing all of their accomplishments from the Mars Curiosity Rover to the GRAIL moon exploration. To check it out, click here!

Also, check out an amazing video of how the Hubble Telescope. Jannik Hansen from Google+ puts its best:

Imagine taking a picture of an empty area of space no bigger to you than a grain of sand held out at arms' length. Through enough exposure, however, Hubble revealed that this miniscule are of space holds a multitude of galaxies never seen before. 

If you can't see the video below, click here.