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Hubble Telescope

The Hubble Telescope has been one of the most important inventions in the astronomy world in a long time. It has allowed scientists to see things that people here on Earth have never seen before. This site is dedicated to this magnificent machine.

The Hubble Telescope is unique from other telescopes because it orbits the Earth rather than being located somewhere on Earth’s surface. This allows the telescope to see further and with less interference because its view is not blocked by the atmosphere. The Hubble Telescope is equipped with special instruments that allow for even more scientific uses. It has five instruments that are currently used: the Wide Field and Planetary Camera (WF/PC), Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph(GHRS), High Speed Photometer(HSP), Faint Object Camera(FOC), and the Faint Object Spectrograph(FOS). These instruments allow the Hubble Telescope to capture images in visible, ultraviolet, and infrared light.

Important Discoveries of The Hubble Telescope:

The Hubble Telescope has made many important discoveries since its launch in 1990. Its impact can been shown through the sheer number of scientific papers that have used the telescope in their findings.
One of the main objectives of the project was to measure the distance to Cepheid variable stars more accurately. This allowed astronomers to better understand the rate at which the universe is expanding. The telescope also discovered that the universe’s expansion is accelerating rather than decelerating as was believed by many scientists.

Hubble observed the collision of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter. Not only were these pictures some of the most clear taken of Jupiter, they also helped scientists to understand the results of such a collision.

Eagle Nebula
Eagle Nebula
Hubble Telescope
Saturn

Hubble Telescope
Hubble Telescope

History of The Hubble Telescope:

Serious discussion of a telescope like the Hubble began with Lyman Spitzer’s paper Astronomical advantages of an extra-terrestrial observatory. Spitzer is credited with being the father of the space telescope. Spitzer later lead a commission to refine the possible advantages and uses of a space telescope. Throughout the and seventies, several space telescopes were launched. These telescopes were of relatively small magnitude. There was a large push from the scientific community for a larger space telescope and many astronomers began lobbying to gain funding for such a project. In 1978, they were finally successful when Congress granted the project 36,000,000. A few years later, the telescope was given the name Hubble. It was named after Edwin Hubble, a very important American astronomer of the twentieth century. By 1986 the telescope was close to being ready to launch, but the crash of the Challengerspace shuttle caused launch to be pushed back.

In 1990 the Hubble Telescope was finally launched. Unfortunately, shorty after launch it was discovered that the lens was made incorrectly. Though the flaw was extremely small, it had a very big impact on the quality of the images. The images were still better than ground telescopes but not nearly as good as expected. At this point the project looked like a disaster. The Hubble Telescope was only marginally better than other telescopes but yet it had cost much much more. NASA scientists began looking for a solution. A new lens was made but NASA decided it would be too expensive to either install in space or to bring the telescope back down. The scientists at NASA came up with a very interesting solution. They decided that instead of fixing the lens they would adjust the other instruments to work with the incorrect lens. On the fist scheduled service mission, the necessary adjustments were made and the telescope was restored to its full capability. There have been four service missions that have improved and lengthened the life of the telescope. Today the Hubble Telescope is still making great astronomical discoveries.

 

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