~~March 25, 2014~~
The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is a space telescope that was carried into orbit by a Space Shuttle in 1990 and remains in operation. A 2.4-meter (7.9 ft) aperture telescope in low Earth orbit, Hubble’s four main instruments observe in the near ultraviolet, visible, and near infrared spectra. The telescope is named after the astronomer Edwin Hubble.
Hubble’s orbit outside the distortion of Earth’s atmosphere allows it to take extremely high-resolution images with almost no background light. Hubble’s Deep Field has recorded some of the most detailed visible-light images ever, allowing a deep view into space and time. Many Hubble observations have led to breakthroughs in astrophysics, such as accurately determining the rate of expansion of the universe.
Although not the first space telescope, Hubble is one of the largest and most versatile, and is well known as both a vital research tool and a public relations boon for astronomy. The HST was built by the United States space agency NASA, with contributions from the European Space Agency, and is operated by the Space Telescope Science Institute. The HST is one of NASA’s Great Observatories, along with the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and the Spitzer Space Telescope.
Space telescopes were proposed as early as 1923. Hubble was funded in the 1970’s, with a proposed launch in 1983, but the project was beset by technical delays, budget problems, and the Challenger disaster. When finally launched in 1990, Hubble’s main mirror was found to have been ground incorrectly, compromising the telescope’s capabilities. The optics were corrected to their intended quality by a servicing mission in 1993.
Hubble is the only telescope designed to be serviced in space by astronauts. Between 1993 and 2002, four Space Shuttle missions repaired, upgraded, and replaced systems on the telescope; a fifth mission was canceled on safety grounds following the Columbia disaster. However, after spirited public discussion, NASA administrator Mike Griffin approved one final servicing mission, completed in 2009. The telescope is now expected to function until at least 2014, and possibly 2020. Its scientific successor, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), is currently scheduled to be launched in 2018.
|Organization||NASA / ESA / STScI|
|Launch date||April 24, 1990, 8:33:51 am EDT|
|Launch site||Kennedy Space Center LC-39,Florida, U.S.|
|Launch vehicle||Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-31)|
|Mission length||23 years and 11 months elapsed|
|Mass||11,110 kg (24,490 lb) at launch|
|Length||13.2 m (43 ft)|
|Type of orbit||Near-circular low Earth orbit|
|Orbit height||559 km (347 mi)|
|Orbit period||96–97 minutes (14–15 periods per day)|
|Orbit velocity||7,500 m/s (25,000 ft/s)|
|Acceleration due to gravity||8.169 m/s2 (26.80 ft/s2)|
|Location||Low Earth orbit|
|Telescope style||Ritchey–Chrétien reflector|
|Wavelength||visible light, ultraviolet, near-infrared|
|Diameter||2.4 m (7.9 ft)|
|Collecting area||4.5 m2 (48 sq ft)|
|Focal length||57.6 m (189 ft)|
|ACS||optical survey camera
|WFC3||wide field optical camera|
|FGS||three fine guidance sensors|
Hubble Telescope Celebrates 24 Years With a Great Wave
Full Credit/Article/Source: Alan Boyle
Astronomers have caught a cosmic wave to celebrate the 24th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope’s launch.
Anniversary pictures have become a yearly tradition for the telescope, which went into space on April 24, 1990, aboard the space shuttle Discovery. The latest picture, released Monday, March 24, 2014, reminds the Hubble team of “The Great Wave,” a 19th-century print by the Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai.
This “wave” is a cosmic crest of hydrogen gas and dust in the Monkey Head Nebula, a star-forming region 6,400 light-years from Earth in the constellation Orion. Hubble’s infrared view shows how the dusty cloud is being sculpted by ultraviolet light from hot stars in the center of the nebula. Check out these images from Hokusai (and Hubble) to put the picture in perspective.
KATSUSHIKA HOKUSAI / VIA LOC
R. CRISP / HUBBLE HERITAGE TEAM
Where Did the Name Hubble Come From?
Hubble is named after an astronomer. His name was Edwin P. Hubble. An astronomer is someone who studies the planets, stars and space. Edwin P. Hubble made important discoveries in the early 1900’s. He found many galaxies in the universe. His work also led to the idea that the universe was getting bigger, as if from a big explosion. Scientists call this explosion the big bang. The explosion would have happened billions of years ago.
What Are Hubble’s Most Important Discoveries?
Hubble pictures have helped scientists guess the age and size of the universe. Scientists think the universe is about 13 or 14 billion years old. Hubble has also helped scientists understand how planets and galaxies form. A picture called “Hubble Ultra Deep Field” shows the farthest galaxies ever seen.
Hubble has spotted black holes. Black holes suck in everything around them, including light. Hubble has also helped to discover dark energy. Dark energy is a strange force that causes the universe to expand faster and faster as time goes on. And Hubble has helped scientists learn more about explosions that occur when huge stars die.
A rose made of galaxies, extreme star cluster, stellar nursery, infra-red view of the Horsehead nebula (23rd anniversary picture)
~~Best of Hubble – 22 Years of Incredible Images~~
~~Published on Jul 9, 2012~~
Visit my website at http://www.junglejoel.com – this episode of Hubblecast celebrates the best Hubble Space Telescope pictures of the last 22 years.
Credit: NASA ESA Hubble
Just imagine what two more years could bring!
We ALL are connected through the UNIVERSE!!
We ALL are ONE!!