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Archived from the original on November 2, Retrieved November 4, Retrieved January 21, Design and fabrication of the NASA 2. International Society for Optics and Photonics. Goddard Space Flight Center. Archived from the original on March 17, Archived from the original PDF on October 6, Retrieved May 18, The Space Telescope Observatory Technical report.
Instrument, goals, and science results". Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. High Speed Photometer Instrument Handbook v 3. Fritz; McArthur, Barbara E.
High-precision stellar parallaxes from Hubble Space Telescope fine guidance sensors. New Views of the Solar System and Galaxy. Retrieved November 6, Exploring the Unknown PDF. Retrieved January 19, Retrieved September 4, Archived from the original on April 20, Retrieved March 28, The Smell of Fear". The spacing of the field lens in the corrector was to have been done by laser measurements off the end of an invar bar.
Instead of illuminating the end of the bar, however, the laser in fact was reflected from a worn spot on a black-anodized metal cap placed over the end of the bar to isolate its center visible through a hole in the cap. The technician who performed the test noted an unexpected gap between the field lens and its supporting structure in the corrector and filled it in with an ordinary metal washer. They believed the other two null correctors were less accurate than the reflective null corrector and so could not verify its reliability. Since they assumed the perfection of the mirror and reflective null corrector, they rejected falsifying information from independent tests, believed no problems existed, and reported only good news.
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The climb to success
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Covers the early history of precursors and proposals. In Mack, Pamela E. From Engineering Science to Big Science. A detailed account of the first servicing mission. This audio file was created from a revision of the article " Hubble Space Telescope " dated , and does not reflect subsequent edits to the article. STS , Discovery Servicing: Great Observatories program List of space telescopes List of proposed space observatories List of X-ray space telescopes. Detection methods Discoveries of exoplanets List of exoplanets full nearest. Guiana Space Centre Esrange. Ariane 5 Arianespace Soyuz Vega.
Manned flights are indicated in bold text. Uncatalogued launch failures are listed in italics. Payloads deployed from other spacecraft are denoted in brackets. Retrieved from " https: Pages using Timeline CS1 maint: Views Read Edit View history. The birth of the reusable Space Shuttle provided a new mechanism for delivering such a telescope into space. The world's first space telescope was then launched on April 24, Butthere was a big problem right off the bat. Hubble had a flawed mirror, researchers learned when the telescope reached orbit and was put to work.
The images were fuzzy — close to useless. Hubble's main mirror had a major defect, a spherical aberration caused by a manufacturing error. It took three years before NASA could mount a repair mission. In December , the first new images from Hubble reached Earth. And they were breathtaking. Hubble transmits about gigabytes of science data every week. That would be roughly 3, feet 1, meters of books on a shelf. The collection of pictures and data is stored on magneto-optical disks. Hubble has been serviced five times. These are the highlights of each servicing mission: Hubble's elevated perspective and advanced optics allow it to peer farther away than previous ground-based optics are able to see.
Because light takes time to travel long distances, the range of the HST makes it function similar to a time machine ; the light it views from remote objects only reveals how that object appeared when the light left it, not how it appears today. Thus when we look at the Andromeda galaxy, 2. When astronomers pointed the HST to a seemingly empty patch of sky in Ursa Major in , for instance, they captured an image of over 3, galaxies too distant to be detected by other telescopes.
This was later called the Hubble Deep Field. Some of the galaxies were so young, they had not yet begun serious star formation. Other deep field observations in the same area were performed, peering deeper into space each time.
Hubble Space Telescope - Wikipedia
In addition to gazing at the early universe, Hubble also helped astronomers gauge how much time had passed since the Big Bang. By measuring a special kind of pulsing star known as a Cepheid variable , they were able to narrow down the age of the universe from its pre-HST range of 10 to 20 billion years to a more precise Hubble also examines individual stars in various stages of their evolution — from the clouds of dust that form infant stars to the corpses of those long since detonated, and those in between. It has even been able to peer outside of our galaxy, the Milky Way, and into its neighbors, the Magellanic Clouds and Andromeda Galaxy.
More challenging to see than stars are planets orbiting other suns. Yet in , Hubble captured pictures of the planet Fomalhaut b, the first time an extrasolar planet was directly imaged in visible light. But most planets are more challenging to photograph. Much of the HST's work with other planets comes through the detection of their atmosphere as they pass in front of their sun; the atmosphere filters the light from the stars, and the Hubble records the changes.
Hubble may spend much of its time peering light-years from Earth, but on occasion it takes the time to photograph the planets traveling around our sun. Teams of experts then select the observations to be performed. Once observations are completed, the astronomers have a year to pursue their work before the data is released to the entire scientific community. Hubble's success with these policies has helped spread them throughout the astronomical community, and they are becoming common with other observatories. The Hubble Space Telescope is the direct solution to a problem that telescopes have faced since the very earliest days of their invention: The quandary is twofold: Shifting air pockets in Earth's atmosphere distort the view of telescopes on the ground, no matter how large or scientifically advanced those telescopes are.
This "atmospheric distortion" is the reason that the stars seem to twinkle when you look up at the sky. The atmosphere also partially blocks or absorbs certain wavelengths of radiation, like ultraviolet, gamma- and X-rays, before they can reach Earth. Scientists can best examine an object like a star by studying it in all the types of wavelengths that it emits. Newer ground-based telescopes are using technological advances to try to correct atmospheric distortion, but there's no way to see the wavelengths the atmosphere prevents from even reaching the planet.
The most effective way to avoid the problems of the atmosphere is to place your telescope beyond it. Or, in Hubble's case, miles km above the surface of Earth. Every 97 minutes, Hubble completes a spin around Earth, moving at the speed of about five miles per second 8 km per second — fast enough to travel across the United States in about 10 minutes. As it travels, Hubble's mirror captures light and directs it into its several science instruments. Hubble is a type of telescope known as a Cassegrain reflector.
Light hits the telescope's main mirror, or primary mirror. It bounces off the primary mirror and encounters a secondary mirror. The secondary mirror focuses the light through a hole in the center of the primary mirror that leads to the telescope's science instruments. People often mistakenly believe that a telescope's power lies in its ability to magnify objects. Telescopes actually work by collecting more light than the human eye can capture on its own. The larger a telescope's mirror, the more light it can collect, and the better its vision.
Hubble's primary mirror is This mirror is small compared with those of current ground-based telescopes, which can be inches 1, cm and up, but Hubble's location beyond the atmosphere gives it remarkable clarity. Once the mirror captures the light, Hubble's science instruments work together or individually to provide the observation. Each instrument is designed to examine the universe in a different way.
Its resolution and field of view are much greater than that of Hubble's other instruments. WFC3 is one of Hubble's two newest instruments, and will be used to study dark energy and dark matter, the formation of individual stars and the discovery of extremely remote galaxies previously beyond Hubble's vision.
Spectrographs acts something like prisms, separating light from the cosmos into its component colors. This provides a wavelength "fingerprint" of the object being observed, which tells us about its temperature, chemical composition, density, and motion. COS will improve Hubble's ultraviolet sensitivity at least 10 times, and up to 70 times when observing extremely faint objects. The Advanced Camera for Surveys ACS sees visible light, and is designed to study some of the earliest activity in the universe.
ACS helps map the distribution of dark matter, detects the most distant objects in the universe, searches for massive planets, and studies the evolution of clusters of galaxies. ACS partially stopped working in due to an electrical short, but was repaired during Servicing Mission 4 in May The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph STIS is a spectrograph that sees ultraviolet, visible and near-infrared light, and is known for its ability to hunt black holes. Its sensitivity to infrared light — perceived by humans as heat — lets it observe objects hidden by interstellar dust, like stellar birth sites, and gaze into deepest space.
They can be used to precisely measure the distance between stars, and their relative motions. All of Hubble's functions are powered by sunlight. Hubble sports solar arrays that convert sunlight directly into electricity. Some of that electricity is stored in batteries that keep the telescope running when it's in Earth's shadow, blocked from the Sun's rays. Engineers use satellites to communicate with the telescope, giving it directions and commands.
The telescope has two main computers and a number of smaller systems. One of the main computers handles the commands that point the telescope and other system-wide functions. The other talks to the instruments, receives their data, and sends it to satellites that in turn transmit it to the ground. Once the ground station transfers the data to Goddard, Goddard sends it to the Space Telescope Science Institute STScI , where staff translate the data into scientifically meaningful units — such as wavelength or brightness — and archive the information on 5.
Hubble sends the archive enough information to fill about 18 DVDs every week. Astronomers can download archived data via the Internet and analyze it from anywhere in the world. Hundreds of engineers and computer scientists at Goddard Space Flight Center and STScI are responsible for keeping Hubble operating and monitoring its safety, health and performance.