Hubble – You Decide: let your Weltanshauung shape science

As part of an extended program celebrating the 4ooth anniversary of Galileo’s telescope, you can help decide what the Hubble space telescope looks at next by voting on six candidate targets. Click here to vote. If you need some help choosing, here’s some advice on what might be interesting to see:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Dr. Summers advocates deciding by what you find interesting, but I propose that we vote according to our larger conception of existence in this universe. Interested in being hopeful, excited about new things? Vote for image 1 — a region where new stars are being born. More inclined these days to the red in tooth and claw vision of the universe, want to look destruction in the face? Vote for target 2 or 3 — planetary nebulae where stars are silently expelling their last gasps into space. Images 4 and 5 seem utterly boring to me, scientifically and existentially. But if you’re in an apocalyptic frame of mind, perhaps the colliding galaxies in image 6 will appeal to you.

I think I will vote for image 2:

Image 2

Let me know how you decide. And do it soon! Voting ends March 1!


3 Responses to “Hubble – You Decide: let your Weltanshauung shape science”

  1. 1 kg March 1, 2009 at 7:16 am

    I voted for 6. I think it was gonna win without me, but I just couldn’t go past an apocalyptic disaster without rubbernecking :).

  2. 2 withastone April 3, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    You can rubberneck now, kg. Your image won, and you can see it here.

  3. 3 kg June 2, 2009 at 5:10 am

    The photograph is very pretty, but did they get any worthwhile information about the 3 galaxies out of it? They don’t mention any new knowledge being acquired…

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