Reality Straight Up!

Thoughts & Observations of a Free Range Astrophysicist

Star Formation in the Eagle Nebula

The Hubble Space Telescope image of the Eagle Nebula, dubbed “The Pillars of Creation,” is one of the most famous astronomical images ever taken.

Repairing the Hubble Space Telescope

Before launch, the Hubble Space Telescope was being touted as the greatest advance in astronomy since Galileo first pointed a telescope at the heavens. But it didn’t take long to discover that it had a serious flaw. Hubble’s mirror was exquisite. It was just the wrong shape, leaving it unable to make sharp images of the heavens.

Origin of the Solar System

Some of the most interesting ideas come when people from very different backgrounds talk to each other. An example of this involves some work that I undertook along with meteoriticists (scientists who study meteorites) at ASU. Meteorites are fragments left over from the time when the Solar System formed, 4.5 billion years ago.

Crab Nebula

The Crab Nebula

The Crab Nebula is the remnant of a supernova – the explosion of a massive, luminous star – observed by Chinese astrologers in 1054 AD. And to astrophysicists, the Crab is one of the most important objects in the sky.

Press Releases

This page covers a few of my scientific accomplishments. Over the course of my scientific career I was involved in a host of fascinating and important projects.

21st Century Astronomy

More often that not the chasm that seems to exist between the scientist and the nonscientist is one of language. But it is possible to communicate across such boundaries. It was with that in mind that I took on the task of writing what became a very successful introductory astronomy textbook, 21st Century Astronomy.

Over his 30 year career as an internationally known astrophysicist, Dr. Jeff Hester was a key member of the team that repaired the Hubble Space Telescope. With one foot always on the frontiers of knowledge, he has been mentor, coach, team leader, award-winning teacher, administrator and speaker, to name a few of the hats he has worn. His Hubble image, the Pillars of Creation, was chosen by Time Magazine as among the 100 most influential photographs in history.
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