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"Hubble's Next Discovery --You Decide"

Hubble floating above Earth during servicing mission 3B, March 2002. NASA image

WASHINGTON (BNS): In the International Year of Astronomy, NASA is giving everyone an opportunity to use the world’s most celebrated telescope to explore the heavens and boldly look where the Hubble Space Telescope has never looked before.
NASA is inviting the public to vote for one of the six astronomical objects that they would like Hubble to observe in the year of Astronomy. NASA said that the options, which Hubble has not previously photographed, range from far-flung galaxies to dying stars.

Votes can be cast until March 1, NASA said, adding that Hubble's camera will make a high-resolution image revealing new details about the object that receives maximum votes. NASA will release the image during the International Year of Astronomy’s “100 Hours of Astronomy” from April 2 to 5.

According to the space agency, all those casting their votes will be entitled to receive one of 100 copies of the Hubble photograph made of the winning celestial body on random basis. All space lovers can cast their votes at

To inculcate interest among students and teachers, NASA has organised a classroom collage activity that integrates art, science and language arts. “Students in participating classes will select their favourite Hubble images and assemble them in a collage. They will also choose their favourite object from the image voting contest and write essays about why they made their selections,” NASA said.

Space Shuttle Atlantis will be blasting off into space on May 12 this year to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. The servicing mission will extend Hubble’s operational life by five years, repairing its out-of-commission instruments and enhancing its scientific power. NASA said that astronauts will replace gyroscopes and batteries on the telescope, repair the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph and the Advanced Camera for Surveys and install two new instruments -- the Wide Field Camera 3 and the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph. The Hubble Space Telescope, launched in 1990, was designed so that it could be repaired in space by astronauts.

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