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NASA Space Science

20 Years of Hubble 67

GPLHost-Thomas writes "The Hubble Space Telescope roared into space 20 years ago to begin a career rewriting what we know about the universe around us: the age of the universe, the composition of galaxies' cores, how planets form, and much more. NASA released some of the most spectacular photos for the event."
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20 Years of Hubble

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  • Re:Nasa? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anpheus ( 908711 ) on Sunday April 25, 2010 @05:54PM (#31978352)

    Some overseas news sources, such as the BBC, use a style guide that does make it "Nasa" not "NASA".

  • Enhancements (Score:5, Informative)

    by michael_cain ( 66650 ) on Sunday April 25, 2010 @05:54PM (#31978362) Journal
    As much as I enjoy the Hubble pictures, I always try to keep in mind that for most of them, there is no place that you could go and see the same image with your naked eye. False colors and extensions into the infrared portions of the spectrum create images that are both lovely and scientifically valuable; but it's not what you would see if you were positioned to look without equipment.
  • Re:Nasa? (Score:4, Informative)

    by R.Mo_Robert ( 737913 ) on Sunday April 25, 2010 @06:12PM (#31978502)

    Then shouldn't that be the Bbc?

    No. NASA is an acronym; BBC is an initialism. Some style guides treat them differently, capitalizing only the first letter of the former but all letters of the latter. See: [].

  • Re:Nasa? (Score:5, Informative)

    Then shouldn't that be the Bbc?

    No. According to the BBC style guide, if an acronym is commonly spoken as a word, e.g. LASER, NASA, RADAR, then it is spelt as a normal word; laser, Nasa, radar. However, if the acronym is spoken as a acronym, as a sequence of letters, then it is spelt using all capitals, e.g. BBC, CNN, NSA.

    Of course, the is a BBC/UK style guide. Americans do things differently when it comes to acronyms. American organisations often carry acronyms to excess(GE has an internal acronym dictionary), frequently structuring the original description to fit a premade acronym rather than the other way around. The most notorious example of this is the USA PATRIOT Act(yes the USA is part of the acronym). Since they are tailored to be like words, Americans tend to use acronyms as words, but still use upper case(go faster stripe) spelling in many documents. Hence they would write NASA and not Nasa.

    As someone who grew up using the UK style, but who spends a lot of time on the US-centric internet I've tended to notice these differences as time goes by. Also, I am no longer able to discern which spelling must be used for countless words in English, which I imagine is the case for a lot of people. It's strange to think that when Hubble launched these kinds of confusion did not really impact on daily life so much.

  • Re:Nice pix (Score:5, Informative)

    by Phroon ( 820247 ) on Sunday April 25, 2010 @07:10PM (#31978908) Homepage
    The "star filters" you mention are actually diffraction spikes [] caused by the rods that support the secondary mirror of the telescope. They are an intrinsic quality of the telescope. If you look at the left side of this image [] of the Hubble under construction you can see three (of the four) black spokes that connect the outer cylindrical support to the cylinder in the middle (this is where the secondary mirror is mounted to). It is the light diffracting off of these spokes that cause the starburst pattern that you noticed.
  • Re:Nasa? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) * on Sunday April 25, 2010 @08:21PM (#31979428) Homepage Journal

    Technically this should apply to NATO as well, but fuck it, that's the English language for you.

    The BBC and other British news organizations do in fact refer to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as Nato, not NATO.

  • Re:Nasa? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Rakshasa Taisab ( 244699 ) on Sunday April 25, 2010 @11:25PM (#31980416) Homepage

    initialism (-nsh'-lz'm) n. An abbreviation consisting of the first letter or letters of words in a phrase (for example, IRS for Internal Revenue Service), syllables or components of a word (TNT for trinitrotoluene), or a combination of words and syllables (ESP for extrasensory perception) and pronounced by spelling out the letters one by one rather than as a solid word.

    Hmmm... So NASA would be an acronym and BBC would be an initialism, right?

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