Happy Hubble Holidays!

By Phil Plait | December 8, 2009 1:41 pm

Speaking of Hubble, If you’re looking for a holiday card that isn’t all twee and treacly and gooey, then the good folks at Hubble have just what you need: astronomical holiday cards!

hubble_holidaycard

They have a nice selection of cards, and they’re all free! Just download them and print them at home or at a print shop. Why give someone the usual kids-on-a-sled card, when you can have a whole galaxy on it?

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Cool stuff, Pretty pictures

Comments (30)

Links to this Post

  1. Twitter Weekly Updates 2009-12-12 | December 13, 2009
  1. MetaEd

    Link not working at the moment. Perhaps it’s the SlashPlait effect.

  2. FormerComposer

    Two different browsers (Opera & Chrome) — the page only has the menu at the top. No cards.

  3. Angela

    Well, I dare say that no one else will be sending the exact same card!

    They are quite lovely though.

  4. TheElkMechanic

    Holiday cards? “Season’s Greetings?” Why does NASA hate Christmas? ;) Seriously, cool concept. Now if only I had friends to send cards to.

  5. Crux Australis

    Weird, the cards page doesn’t load for me.

  6. The site is slow, but the cards are cool. I like how they acknowledge that STARS are the original bright & sparklies, and design with them in place of electric holiday lights.

    I think I’m gonna use these :)

  7. Jess Tauber

    I have a stoopid question- spiral galaxies rotate, and also the density waves travel through the system creating apparent ‘arms’ in a rotating fashion. Do these rotations coincide in the same direction, or are they in opposite ones? Thanks.

  8. “Why give someone the usual kids-on-a-sled card, when you can have a whole galaxy on it?”

    And who knows how many kids are on sleds in those galaxies!

  9. Hernán

    Phil, a little bit off-topic: when reading your blog via RSS, Google AdSense puts some ads about “scientific evidence for God” from http://cosmicfingerprints.com/

    I thought you may want to know it :)

  10. must admit, I’d be more keen if at least one of them said “Merry Christmas”

    All religions aside, it is sort of the point.

  11. Flying sardines

    @ 7 Pete & 2 The Elk Mechanic :

    Isn’t the whole point of the season: ‘peace & goodwill to *all*’ folks?

    Really don’t be so durn petty! Please!

    Just because people (whether NASA or others) inclusively say ‘Holiday’ or ‘Seasons’ greetings rather than specifying Christmas ones doesn’t mean they hate Christmas or are anti-Christian or whatever other weird connotations some extremists seem to draw from such friendly words & good wishes.

    The whole “war on Christmas” nonsense is a huge beat-up that I think is really petty and unChristian.

    People celebrate their special day(s) and season(s) in their own way. As long as they’re not stopping you from celebrating yours then honestly where’s your beef?

    I have no objection to people saying “Merry Christmas” or “Seasons greetings” or “Happy holidays” or “mazel Tov(?) or “Saalam aleikum (?)” or whatever else as long as the sentiment is friendly and positive towards me and others & I’m baffled why anyone else does.

    Not everyone is Christian and not everyone is *your* sort of Christian that’s life & ywe all need to accept this – & the whole message of what Jesus taught is, I think, “love thy neighbour” right?
    So .. do that.

    Love thy neighbour whther she celebrates Christmas, Xmas, Hannukakah, Kwanza , Eid el-Fitr (spelling?), solstice or just life in general.

    As for the Hubble cards – magnificent! I love them! :-)

    Merry Christmas & to all a good night!

  12. IVAN3MAN AT LARGE

    @ Jess Tauber,

    Density wave theory is a theory proposed by C.C. Lin and Frank Shu in the mid-1960s to explain spiral arm structure of spiral galaxies. The theory suggests that the arms were not material in nature, but instead made up of areas of greater density, similar to a traffic jam on a highway: as the cars move through the traffic jam, the density of cars increases in the middle of it; however, the traffic jam itself does not move (or not a great deal, in comparison to the cars). In the galaxy, stars, gas, dust, and other components move through the density waves, are compressed, and then move out of them.

    Click on the link for a more detailed explanation; there’s also a video simulation.

  13. Jess Tauber

    So if one viewed the galaxy it would rotate with respect to a larger reference frame- would the density wave pattern stay in fixed orientation with respect to this frame, lag behind the moving stars, gas, etc. but moving in the same direction and thus also moving in the frame, or in fact move backward with respect to the external frame? I’m still not clear. Thanks.

  14. Asimov fan

    @7 Pete & 2 The Elk Mechanic :

    Er … you do know that Christmas day is not even the actual birthday for Jesus don’t you? & that early Christians co-opted & synthesised (some may even say “hijacked”) pre-existing pagan ceremonies and festivals into their “Christmas day” event right? :roll:

    Hints from the biblical nativity story (Eg. shepherds outside minding flocks) suggest Yeshua (Jesus) was born in Judea’s spring not winter season. (& the year wasn’t 0 BC/AD but more like in 4 BC too – but that’s another story again.)

    But never mind me or the facts, just go on giving your religion a bad name and irritating people by telling everyone else on the planet that they can only express seasonal good wishes and pleasant thoughts to each other in *exactly* and *only* the way that *you* demand or else! :roll:

    Oh & the “reason for the season” … ??

    Is the Earth’s axial tilt – just the same as every other season! ;-)

    The real reason for the big celebrations at this time of year though is – the solstice. The (rough) point where the days stop growing shorter and start growing longer again. That’s it.

    As for the Hubble cards – yes, they’re beautiful. Thanks for putting us onto them BA. :-)

  15. Charlie Young

    That’s pretty funny…and I’m one of those people who sends the kids on a sled greeting. Oh, and I really liked the snowmen with the deep space galactic image (I guess deep by our frame of reference).

  16. Petrolonfire

    As long as they’re not stopping you from celebrating yours then honestly where’s your beef?

    Mines in the fridge! ;-)

    Mmmm .. Roast beef for dinner! :-)

    Actually I’m with those who think the “War on Xmas” thing is just ridiculously stupid.

    I’m an atheist & its been a long time indeed since I read the Bible but I get the distinct impression that what the Christians main man would use as the key test of someones “goodness” of character and how well they’re following his message is how they treat the poor & those less fortunate than themselves. I don’t think Jesus, if he was around today, would give a flying fig whether anybody says “happy holiday” instead of “merry christmas” .

  17. Petrolonfire

    Anyone else see the irony in Mars – the planet connected with ancient gods of War* – being on the card with the word “Peace” & having the dove peace symbol on it? Wouldn’t, oh I dunno, Venus or Jupiter or our Moon have been better symbolic choices for ‘peace’ & doves instead? ;-)

    That noted, neat cards & good PR idea NASA.

    ——-

    * & attacking invading martian aliens in our modern cultural folklore &, at least it’s moons with the Hell-based computer game Doom too!

  18. CS

    The Nasa cards are great, but after a few years of offering the same selection I wish they found the time to make some new ones.
    There are so many incredible Hubble pictures that could be used.

  19. Ditto to what CS said. This is the exact same selection of cards they had last year.
    As to the question of whether they say “Merry Christmas,” some do say “Seasons Greetings.” If that’s still not good enough, then go down to your corner drug store and buy a box of Santa cards.
    I used Vistaprint.com to print mine. Very reasonable prices, plus you can add a custom message on the inside (like–DUH!–Merry Christmas).

    On an unrelated matter: Here’s an alternative reason the Mayan calendar “stops” in 2012: http://www.gocomics.com/nonsequitur/2009/12/07/

  20. Dawn

    Thanks for the nice card pix, Phil. I have to say that my coworkers and I are really enjoying the Hubble Advent Calendar. I download them every day and make them my background so everyone who walks by can enjoy them. (I have to type the names so if someone asks me what the picture is, I can look quickly!) Learning more about astronomy has been fun, thanks to you, your books and your blog!

  21. Acky

    Being English, I very rarely associate the Christmas period with the US term “Holidays”, so for a second I was expecting this to actually be about a “Happy Hubble Day” holiday :P
    Saying that, though, we should have that.

  22. shawmutt

    Very cool, thanks Phil! That’s a great idea. I’m in the process of building cards using Walmart.com (best prices and I can pick them up).

  23. Eric

    Which holiday is that again? Which is the one that our government designated as the official holiday? Which is the one holiday for which we are given a break from work and school? Were it not for that one holiday, there would be no “season” for us to be celebrating. I don’t see people applying generic references to the other times of the year when other cultures have major holidays. Americans generally ignore those holidays of other cultures which are far more important than those which coincide with Christmas. Where’s all that politically-correct inclusion at the time of Jewish New Year or Ramadan?

    And, once again, Eid el-Fitr was in September this year. If Flying Sardines insists on acknowledging all holidays of the season, it would benefit him to understand which holidays actually occur during this season.

    For all the talk of inclusion, the generic term is specifically meant to exclude Christmas. Deny it all you want, the consensus is clear.

    Phil, take a cue from Emily…she’s not afraid to use the word Christmas in reference to her Advent Calendar. Do you have children? Which holiday(s) do you celebrate in your home? Maybe that’s the difference.

  24. Michel

    If and when Hubble´s lifespan is finally over they should haul him back and put it in it´s own museum.

  25. TheElkMechanic

    @ Flying sardines & Asimov fan:

    You must have missed the smiley wink. I too am sick of the whole “war on Christmas” thing.

  26. GreyRogue

    @Eric 23: It is truly terrible how Christians are persecuted in the US. And when they are the only source of midwinter cheer too!

    [/sarcasm]

  27. Flying sardines

    @ 25. TheElkMechanic Says:

    @ Flying sardines & Asimov fan: You must have missed the smiley wink. I too am sick of the whole “war on Christmas” thing.

    Er .. yes. Sorry. I didn’t realise you were joking there.

    @ 23 Eric :

    once again, Eid el-Fitr was in September this year. If Flying Sardines insists on acknowledging all holidays of the season, it would benefit him to understand which holidays actually occur during this season.

    That’s just a detail. My point & principle stands.

    Really dude, what is your problem? Does hearing “Happy holidays” somehow stop you from having a merry Christmas do other people celebrating other festivals make you incapable of enjoying your own? For pity’s sake, get over yourself! Mellow it down some.

    No, saying Happy holidays is NOT just designed to cut Christians out. Happy holiday is aimed at you having a happy holiday just like everyone else too.

    As Petrolonfire (16) aptly said what Christ would :

    “… use as the key test of someones “goodness” of character and how well they’re following his message is how they treat the poor & those less fortunate than themselves. I don’t think Jesus, if he was around today, would give a flying fig whether anybody says “happy holiday” instead of “merry christmas” .

    I second that.

  28. Eric

    Flying Sardines: That little “detail” points directly to your being politically correct in offering a generic greeting. I would guess that ignorance of the schedule of Islamic holidays would offend Muslims just as much having their celebrations included alongside Christian and Jewish holidays.

    I really don’t give a flying fig what Jesus whould say; I’m an athiest. Frankly, I think Jews should be just as upset that their holiday season is lumped in generically with Christians (and many are). The original intent of “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings” was to include New Year’s into the celebration. Those who genuinely wanted to acknowledge the Jewish holiday would say “Happy Hannukah.” Including Kwanzaa is somewhat ridiculous since so few people celebrate it…it’s only the guilt imparted by the civil rights movement that impels us to include it.

    I feel it is demeaning to all of the separate holidays to just lump them together (sans New Years). Almost no workplace in the country schedules the vacation days for Hannukah…the winter break is specifically scheduled around Christmas and New Years. If you insist upon it, pick your holiday and offer the appropriate greeting.

    If I really were Christian, I’d be a lot more upset about the co-opting of Christmas in the name of Santa Claus and commercialism. But Christmas is the reason why we have this holiday season; no matter what it means to the individual. Do you honestly think people would be offering a hearty “Happy Holidays” if Christmas were absent from the schedule? No, it would be ignored by the majority of people…just as we do for Rosh Hashanah, Chinese New Year, and the actual date of Mexican Independence.

  29. gankinehantee

    Hello.
    hmm.. that moveie was easy with AnyDVD,DVD Shrink and DVD Decrypter try this combo oh yea if the movie and all the extras are to big to put on a 4.7 disc SL you will get errors first just do the main movie worry about the extras latter RBROCK

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