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The Hubble Space Telescope

The most famous and successful space telescopes ever launched

By GokilaPublished about a year ago 4 min read
The Hubble

The Hubble Space Telescope is a space-based observatory that has revolutionized our understanding of the universe. Launched in 1990, the Hubble has captured stunning images of stars, galaxies, and other celestial objects that have expanded our knowledge of the cosmos. In this article, we will explore the history of the Hubble Space Telescope, its scientific contributions, and its impact on our understanding of the universe.

History of the Hubble Space Telescope

The concept of a space-based observatory dates back to the 1940s, but it was not until the 1970s that NASA began serious planning for such a mission. The Hubble Space Telescope was named after astronomer Edwin Hubble, who discovered that the universe was expanding. The telescope was designed to be placed in low Earth orbit, where it would be free from the distortions caused by Earth's atmosphere.

The Hubble Space Telescope was launched on April 24, 1990, aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. However, when the telescope's images were first transmitted back to Earth, it was discovered that there was a flaw in the primary mirror. This flaw caused images to be blurry and distorted, making it impossible to carry out the telescope's intended mission.

In 1993, a team of astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour conducted a spacewalk to install corrective optics, known as "contact lenses," to fix the mirror's flaw. These corrective optics successfully corrected the telescope's vision and allowed it to achieve its full potential.

Scientific Contributions of the Hubble Space Telescope

The Hubble Space Telescope has made countless scientific contributions over the past three decades. One of its most significant discoveries was the measurement of the rate of expansion of the universe. In 1998, the Hubble made the shocking discovery that the expansion of the universe is not slowing down as previously believed, but is actually accelerating. This discovery led to the idea of "dark energy," a mysterious force that is believed to be responsible for the universe's accelerating expansion.

The Hubble Space Telescope has also been instrumental in studying the evolution of galaxies. By observing galaxies at various distances, astronomers have been able to study the development of galaxies over time. The Hubble has provided evidence that galaxies, including our own Milky Way, went through a period of intense star formation billions of years ago.

Another area of research where the Hubble Space Telescope has made significant contributions is the study of exoplanets. Exoplanets are planets that orbit stars other than our sun. The Hubble has been used to study the atmospheres of exoplanets, providing valuable information about their compositions and climates. The Hubble has also been used to detect and study the atmospheres of several exoplanets that are potentially habitable, bringing us one step closer to the discovery of extraterrestrial life.

Impact of the Hubble Space Telescope

The Hubble Space Telescope has had a profound impact on our understanding of the universe. Its images have captured the public's imagination and inspired a generation of scientists and astronomers. The Hubble has also been used to promote scientific literacy and education, with its stunning images often appearing in textbooks and popular science publications.

The Hubble has been used to support space exploration missions as well. It has been used to study objects in our own solar system, such as planets, asteroids, and comets. The Hubble has also been used to study distant objects that could potentially be explored by future space missions, such as the moons of Jupiter and Saturn.

The Hubble has also had a significant impact on our understanding of the universe's origins. By studying the light from distant galaxies, the Hubble has provided evidence supporting the Big Bang theory of the universe's origin. The Hubble has also helped to refine our understanding of the age of the universe and the composition of dark matter and dark energy, which make up the majority of the universe's mass and energy.

In addition to its scientific contributions, the Hubble Space Telescope has also had a significant cultural impact. Its images have been featured in countless books, documentaries, and even movies. The Hubble has captured some of the most breathtaking images of the universe, including the iconic "Pillars of Creation" image of the Eagle Nebula, which has become one of the most recognizable images of the cosmos.

Future of the Hubble Space Telescope

The Hubble Space Telescope has been in operation for over 30 years, and while it has exceeded its expected lifespan, it will eventually come to an end. However, the legacy of the Hubble will live on through its scientific contributions and the advancements it has made in space exploration.

NASA launched the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) in late 2021, which will be the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. The JWST will have a much larger mirror than the Hubble, allowing it to capture even more detailed images of the universe. The JWST will also be placed much further from Earth than the Hubble, in a location known as the second Lagrange point (L2), which will allow it to observe more distant objects than the Hubble.

Conclusion

The Hubble Space Telescope has been an essential tool in our quest to understand the universe. Its images and scientific discoveries have expanded our knowledge of the cosmos and inspired countless people around the world. The Hubble's contributions to our understanding of the universe will continue to be studied and analyzed for years to come. While the Hubble will eventually come to an end, its legacy will live on through the advancements it has made in space exploration and the inspiration it has provided to future generations of scientists and astronomers.

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About the Creator

Gokila

She is an astrophile, introvert,

loves to read books all day long,

addicts in healthy lifestyle

and having curiosity to know about new things.

Life Is As Beautiful As You Make It. Contentment Is The Key To Happiness. Peace Be Upon The Saviour.

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