On Monday, July 4, the Hubble space telescope logged its one millionth science observation since its 1990 launch: a spectroscopic image of the exoplanet HAT-P-7b, also known as Kepler 2b.
While Hubble is best known for producing incredible images of the universe around us, this particular observation is of light from Kepler 2b 1,000 light years away. The spectroscopic measurement of the planet's atmosphere examines light in its component colors, which have patterns that can reveal the chemical compositions of the atmosphere.
Hubble was examining Kepler 2b, looking for water in its atmosphere. Kepler 2b has been studied by NASA's Kepler observatory since its discovery, and Hubble's job now is to analyze the planet's atmosphere.
"The Cassini spacecraft observed three of Saturn's moons set against the darkened night side of the planet in this image from April 2011.
Saturn is present on the left this image but is too dark to see. Rhea (1,528 kilometers, or 949 miles across) is closest to Cassini here and appears largest at the center of the image. Enceladus (504 kilometers, or 313 miles across) is to the right of Rhea. Dione (1,123 kilometers, or 698 miles across) is to the left of Rhea, and is partly obscured by Saturn.
This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane."Source: NASA
CNN's John Zarrella climbs aboard the space shuttle Discovery and shows us images you won't see anywhere else.
When the space shuttle blasts off for the last time on July 8, it will leave behind a 30-year legacy of exploration, and the most dedicated cheerleaders the space program has ever known. In Titusville, Florida, a small town just across the river from Cape Canaveral, generations have relied on manned rocket launches to bring the nation to their doorstep.
"We have a population of 43,000, and there'll be several hundred thousand people here, so our population triples or quadruples," said Laura Lee Thompson, the owner of the Dixieland Crossroads restaurant, a favorite for locals and visiting space enthusiasts alike.FULL STORY on CNN's This Just In
CNN's Brooke Baldwin goes through astronaut training at NASA's Space Camp.