Live Views From The Hubble Telescope


A person sitting on a bench overlooking the ocean

The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is a very large and highly flexible telescope that has generated a wide range of astronomical imagery. It was created by NASA in combination with the European Space Agency. This device which is over 43 feet tall and currently weighs more than 27,000 pounds has been equipped with two solar panels and is therefore powered by the sun. The telescope was named after the astronomer Edwin Hubble after his speculations about bodies outside the Milky Way gave rise to the big-bang theory.

Since the inception and introduction in 1990, it has provided numerous data on the galaxies and other celestial bodies and has generated over a million detections. The HST has undergone a total of five services to maintain its functionality. This device revolves around the earth and takes pictures of other planets, stars, and galactic bodies. It monitors changes in other planets and was even able to detect the comet which hit Jupiter in the year 1994.

A view of a city

The pictures taken initially by the telescope are not colored but monochrome or black and white. The Hubble possesses a charge-coupled device that senses and records light at varying wavelengths, particularly of the UV/Vis/IR spectra. The telescope takes several pictures of an object through its filters and then sends the images via radio waves to the earth where scientists mix and process them to give the final photograph product. The Hubble filters detect certain colors of light that are allowed to pass through, while the light not in the spectrum is removed.

These photographs are processed according to the filters through which they were detected. For example, pictures from the green filters are ascribed to the corresponding color of light.

The Hubble has been able to resolve some old issues concerning certain facts about the universe. For instance, the age of the universe which had been subject to many speculations and unverified estimations has finally been calculated to be about 13.8 billion years old.

The telescope also provides large amounts of information at approximately 10TB of data yearly. The Hubble has taken pictures of the solar system and other galaxies several million light-years from the earth. These bodies were formerly too far to be observed by other telescopes but were, however, visualized by the Hubble. 

Additionally, this device has captured the evolution of several stars, from their birth or formation to their death or combustion, and has taken several photographs of the planets rotating around the earth. The HST also played a part in estimating the size of the Milky Way universe. Previously, astronomers wondered about the existence of black holes at the centers of some galactic bodies. However, the Hubble confirmed this phenomenon to be present in not some, but all of these galaxies. 

Conclusion

The Hubble Space Telescope has played an instrumental part in laying a large number of doubts concerning astronomy to rest. We look forward to more discoveries by this great machine.

Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter