The Hubble Space Telescope is dying. Thanks to, depending on who you talk to, safety concerns for space-shuttle astronauts or “lies, spin, and bullshit” from the politicians who control NASA’s purse strings, a planned ’06 servicing mission was canceled earlier this year, meaning Hubble probably will not last till its projected end date of 2010. In the meantime, however, the 14-year-old Hubble keeps taking beautiful and often bizarre pictures of distant galaxies, planets, and nebulae, and the Homewood-based Space Telescope Science Institute keeps posting those pictures (and reams of other news and scientific discoveries) on HubbleSite. Spend a few minutes looking at the pretty photos (yes, we know the colors don’t reflect reality, but who cares when the results are so amazing?), or spend hours, days plumbing deep into this deliriously informative site, learning about, say, the Ritchey-Chretien Cassegrain optical system. Either way, the Hubble isn’t going to be around forever, so gaze into the Ultra Deep Field (that is, the million-second-long exposure revealing “the first galaxies to emerge from the so-called ‘dark ages,’ the time shortly after the big bang when the first stars reheated the cold, dark universe”) now while you still have the chance.