The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is a space telescope that was carried into orbit by a Space Shuttle in 1990 and remains in operation. A 2.4-meter (7.9 ft) aperture telescope in low Earth orbit, Hubble's four main instruments observe in the near ultraviolet, visible, and near infrared. The telescope is named after the astronomer Edwin Hubble.
Hubble's orbit outside the distortion of Earth's atmosphere allows it to take extremely sharp images with almost no background light. Hubble's Ultra-Deep Field image, for instance, is the most detailed visible-light image ever made of the universe's most distant objects. Many Hubble observations have led to breakthroughs in astrophysics, such as accurately determining the rate of expansion of the universe.
Although not the first space telescope, Hubble is one of the largest and most versatile, and is well known as both a vital research tool and a public relations boon for astronomy. The HST was built by the United States space agency NASA, with contributions from the European Space Agency, and is operated by the Space Telescope Science Institute. The HST is one of NASA's Great Observatories, along with the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and the Spitzer Space Telescope.
Space telescopes were proposed as early as 1923. Hubble was funded in the 1970s, with a proposed launch in 1983, but the project was beset by technical delays, budget problems, and the Challenger disaster. When finally launched in 1990, scientists found that the main mirror had been ground incorrectly, compromising the telescope's capabilities. The telescope was restored to its intended quality by a servicing mission in 1993.
Hubble is the only telescope designed to be serviced in space by astronauts. Between 1993 and 2002, four missions repaired, upgraded, and replaced systems on the telescope; a fifth mission was canceled on safety grounds following the Columbia disaster. However, after spirited public discussion, NASA administrator Mike Griffin approved one final servicing mission, completed in 2009 by Space Shuttle Atlantis. The telescope is now expected to function until at least 2013. Its scientific successor, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), is to be launched in 2018 or possibly later.
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... STS-125, or HST-SM4 (Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission 4), was the fifth and final space shuttle servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) ... Space Shuttle Atlantis carried two new instruments to the Hubble Space Telescope, the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph and the Wide Field Camera 3 ... a Fine Guidance Sensor, six gyroscopes, and two battery unit modules to allow the telescope to continue to function at least through 2014 ...
... Albedo and spectral maps of 4 Vesta, as determined from Hubble Space Telescope images from November 1994 Elevation map of 4 Vesta, as determined from Hubble Space ...
... Double Star, a catalog of double stars WEBT – (organization) Whole Earth Blazar Telescope, a network of observers across the Earth who work together to perform continuous observations ...
... HAe – (celestial object) Herbig Ae star HBe – (celestial object) Herbig Be star HALCA – (telescope) Highly Advanced Laboratory for Communications and Astronomy, a satellite that is part of ...
... Further information James Webb Space Telescope Visible spectrum range Color Wavelength violet 380–450 nm blue 450–475 nm cyan 476–495 nm green 495–570 nm yellow 570–590 ... or impossible to study from the ground, justifying the expense of a space-based telescope ... Large ground-based telescopes can image some of the same wavelengths as Hubble, sometimes challenge HST in terms of resolution (via adaptive optics ...
Famous quotes containing the words telescope and/or space:
“The telescope at one end of his beat,
And at the other end the microscope....”
—Robert Frost (18741963)
“Finally she grew quiet, and after that, coherent thought. With this, stalked through her a cold, bloody rage. Hours of this, a period of introspection, a space of retrospection, then a mixture of both. Out of this an awful calm.”
—Zora Neale Hurston (18911960)