Hubble Space Telescope (HST)

Hubble Space Telescope (HST)

One of the most productive scientific instrument ever built is the Hubble Space Telescope. It is truly a boon for astronomers.

The telescope orbits above Earth’s atmosphere.

It has contributed a lot and revolutionized the space discoveries. It only confirmed that universe is expanding at highest speed rather than getting slower.

Hubble Space telescope was named after American astronomer Edward Powell Hubble.

Specification of HST- power usage – 2800 watts and 6 Nickel Hydrogen batteries.

The telescope was launched on 24th April 1990. Soon its launch a flaw was detected in the mirror of the telescope which resulted into faulty blurred images. The fault seem to be tiny but due to the massive size of space the clarity was too much affected millions of dollars was spent by NASA to fix the mirror for better clarity.

Scientist discovered that the main focusing mirror had been polished to the wrong specifications. An instrument which used tiny mirrors to offset the glitch, COSTAR was installed to fix the mirror and correct the blurry image issue.

All the images captured by the telescope are black and white, the telescope does not have a coloured camera. The images of the universe we see in colour are the ones which are released after the edit. In post production process the colours are added. The purpose of exposing grayscale images to red, green and blue filters is to bring out details that would otherwise remain invisible to the human eye.

Hubble telescope images revealed more than 5000 galaxies and some of them captured were as far as 13.2 billion light years.

Hubble  telescope has no thrusters. To change angles its prints its wheels in the opposite direction it takes 15 minutes to turn 90 degree.

Till date the telescope has been serviced five times. Despite recent issues with one of its instrument the telescope is expected to last for five more years.

In 2021 the James Webb Space Telescope JWST will be launched which will complement and extend the discoveries of Hubble Space Telescope. It is a large space based observatory optimised for infrared wavelength.

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