NASA is giving everyone the
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.
The space agency is inviting
the public to vote for one of six candidate astronomical objects for Hubble to
observe in honor of the International Year of Astronomy. The options, which
Hubble has not previously photographed, range from far-flung galaxies to dying
Votes can be cast until March
1. Hubble's camera will make a high resolution image revealing new details
about the object that receives the most votes. The image will be released
during the International Year of Astronomy's "100 Hours of Astronomy"
from April 2 to 5.
Everyone who votes also will
be entered into a random drawing to receive one of 100 copies of the Hubble
photograph made of the winning celestial body.
NASA also invites teachers
and students to participate in an accompanying Hubble Space Telescope classroom
collage activity that integrates art, science and language arts. Students in participating
classes will select their favorite Hubble images and assemble them in a
collage. Students in each class also will choose their favorite object from the
image voting contest and write essays about why they made their selections.
The Hubble Space Telescope,
launched in 1990, was designed so that it can be repaired in space by
astronauts. The next servicing mission to the telescope is targeted to launch
on space shuttle Atlantis May 12, 2009.