astro-ph/0303500

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THE WORLD ACCORDING TO THE HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE

Mario Livio 1


Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD 21218


Abstract. The Hubble Space Telescope (HST), in its thirteen years of operation, has allowed us to observe properties of the universe humans have been able, until very recently, to probe only with their thoughts. This review presents a brief summary of a few of the highlights of HST discoveries, discusses their physical implications, and identifies unsolved problems. A broad range of topics is covered, from our own solar system to cosmology. The topics fall into the general categories of: planets (including both in the solar system and extrasolar), stellar evolution, black holes (including both of stellar-mass and supermassive), galaxy formation and evolution, the determination of cosmological parameters, and the nature of the recently discovered "dark energy."


Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION

OUR OWN BACKYARD - THE SOLAR SYSTEM
The collision of Comet SL-9 with Jupiter

EXTRASOLAR PLANETS
Where have all the planets gone?
The transiting planet HD 209458

STARS AT BIRTH AND DEATH
Outflows and jets from young stellar objects
Protoplanetary disks
Morphology of stellar deaths

BLACK HOLES--FROM SUPERMASSIVE TO STELLAR
Search techniques for supermassive black holes
The MBH - relationship
Intermediate-mass black holes?
Gamma-ray bursts

DEEP FIELDS AND A BRIEF COSMIC HISTORY
The morphology and sizes of high-redshift galaxies
The global cosmic star-formation history

THE HUBBLE CONSTANT
A brief background
Distance indicators and methods
The results

THE ACCELERATING UNIVERSE
The observations
Alternative interpretations
Supernova 1997ff - serendipity and careful planning
The nature of "dark energy"

EPILOGUE

REFERENCES



1 mlivio@stsci.edu; http://www-int.stsci.edu/~mlivio/

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