The Hubble Telescope

Published on May 28, 2016

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The Hubble telescope is a space telescope, which was launched in the year 1990 to orbits the Earth. Its position above the atmosphere, that blocks and Deforms the light which reaches the Earth, gives it a view of the Universe which typically far surpasses that of ground based telescopes. The Hubble telescope is NASA’s one of the longest lasting and most successful science missions. By shedding light on many of the huge mysteries of astronomy, it has beamed thousands of images back to the Earth. Its look has helped in finding the identity of quasars, the existence of dark energy and the age of the Universe.

Changing Astronomy

The discoveries of Hubble have changed the way scientists look at the Universe. Its aptitude to show the Universe in extraordinary detail has turned astronomical assumption into concrete confidence. Among its many inventions, Hubble has exposed the age of the Universe to be about 13 to 14 billion years. It is much more accurate than the old range of wherever from 10 to 20 billion years. The Hubble has played an important role in the discovery of dark energy; it is a mysterious force which accelerates the universe to go faster. It has also shown galaxies to scientists in all the stages of evolution. It also shows toddler galaxies which were around when the universe was still young. It helps the scientist to understand how galaxies form. Around young stars, it found clumps of gas, Protoplanetary discs and dust, probably perform as birthing grounds for new planets. The absolute amount of astronomy based on observations of Hubble has also helped in making it one of the most important observatories of history. The policies which govern the telescope have contributed to its unbelievable output.

The telescope is an instrument for the whole community of astronomers. In the world, any astronomer can submit a request time and proposal on the telescope. Then, the teams of experts select the observations to be performed. Once observations are finished and before the data are released to the whole scientific community, the astronomers have a year to practice their work.

Space telescope

From the earliest days of the invention of the telescope, it has faced many problems. But, the Hubble space telescope is the direct solution to this problem. Shifting air pockets in the atmosphere of the earth deform the view of the telescope on the ground. The atmosphere also incompletely absorbs and blocks the certain wavelength of radiation, such as X-rays, Gamma-rays and ultraviolet rays, before they reach the Earth. Scientists can have an excellent view of an object such as star by studying it in all the kinds of wavelength which it emits.

Work of Hubble Telescope

The Hubble telescope completes a spin around the Earth in every 97 minutes, by moving at the speed of about 8 km per second. In about 10 minutes, this speed is fast enough to travel across the United States. As it travels, the mirror of Hubble captures light and directs it into the several instruments of science. Actually, it is kind of telescope, which is known as a Cassegrain reflector. Light hits the primary mirror or main mirror of the telescope. It bounces off the primary mirror and comes across a secondary mirror. Through a hole in the center of the primary mirror, the secondary mirror focuses the light which leads to the science instruments on the telescope.

Often, people by mistake, believe that a power of telescope lies in the capacity to magnify objects. Actually, telescopes work by gathering more light than the human eye can capture on its own. The vision and light of the telescope depend on its mirror. The larger the mirror of the telescope,  it can collect more light and its vision will also better. The size of Hubble’s primary mirror is 94.5 inches in diameter. The mirror of the Hubble is small and is compared with those of present ground based telescopes, which can be about 1000 cm and up. But, the location of Hubble, further than the atmosphere gives it amazing clarity.

Once, the mirror of the Hubble captures the light, its science instruments work individually or together to provide the observation. To examine the universe, each instrument is designed in a different way.

The wide field camera 3 (WFC3): – It sees three different types of light, near infrared, visible and near ultraviolet, while not at the same time. As compared to other instruments of Hubble, its resolution and field of view is much greater. The wide field camera 3 is one of Hubble’s new instruments and it will also be used to study dark matter and dark energy.

The Cosmic Origins spectrograph (COS): – The other new instrument of Hubble is a Spectrograph which completely sees in ultraviolet light. They act something like a prism and separates light from the cosmos into its constituent colors. COS will improve ultraviolet sensitivity of Hubble at least 10 times and when observing extra weak objects it will improve up to 70 times.

The advanced camera for survey (ACS): – This camera sees visible lights. It is intended to study some of the earliest doings in the Universe. ACS is helpful in detecting the most far-away objects in the Universe, it studies the development of a group of galaxies and it also searches for huge planets. Due to an electrical shot in the year 2007, it partially stopped working. But, in 4 May 2009, it was repaired during the servicing mission.

The space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS): – It is a Spectrograph, which sees visible, near infrared and ultraviolet light and it is known for its capability to chase black holes. It can map out larger objects such as galaxies. On 3 August 2003, due to technical failure, it stopped working. But, during the servicing mission 4, it was also repaired.

The Near Infrared Camera and Multi-object Spectrometer (NICMOS): – It is a heat sensor of Hubble. Its sensitivity to infrared light, perceived as heat by humans. It observes objects which are hidden by interstellar dust, such as stellar birth sites. And also look into deepest space.

In the year 1923, the first idea for the space telescope was arise. One of the founders of the rocketry, the German scientist Hermann Oberth, suggested to blasting a telescope into space aboard a rocket. The Space Telescope science institute was established in the year 1981, to manage the science program and to assess the proposals for telescope time. After the American Astronomer Edwin Hubble, the space telescope was changed into the Hubble space telescope.

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