This photograph of the HST was taken in 1994.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of NASA
Hubble Space Telescope
The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) was one of the most important exploration tools of the past two decades, and will continue to serve as a great resource well into the new millennium. The HST found numerous objects while photographing nebulae, galaxies, stars and other distant objects.
The Hubble was first launched in 1990 from Space Shuttle Discovery, but the project began many years before. The design and construction started in the 1970's, and some say scientists dreamed up the idea even before that. The project is a joint one between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA).
The observatory and its many instruments orbit the Earth at approximately 600 km above the surface. The instruments include cameras that take pictures of distant objects and spectrographs that analyze incoming light. Between 1993 and 2009, NASA sent five Space Shuttle missions to the Hubble to repair it and install new scientific instruments. The Hubble is expected to continue operating through 2015-2020.
The Hubble was only the first four "Great Observatories" launched by NASA. Although Hubble's instruments make observations in ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared wavelengths, the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and the Spitzer Space Telescope (infrared) study our universe by observing more of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Below is a short list of the many discoveries involving the HST. There are many more news pieces about the Hubble in Headline Universe.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes fun classroom activities
for you and your students. Issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
are also full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science!
You might also be interested in:
During the early 1900's, which is not very long ago, astronomers were unaware that there were other galaxies outside our own Milky Way Galaxy. When they saw a small fuzzy patch in the sky through their...more
Anthony Wesley is an amateur astronomer in Australia. On the night of July 19, 2009, Wesley noticed a dark spot on Jupiter that hadn't been there before. He had discovered the remains of a huge impact...more
Everyone is awed by black holes. How could there be a thing that just devours all light and matter around it...so that matter can never escape?!? Scientists using observations from the Chandra X-ray Observatory...more
You probably know there are nine planets in our own solar system...but did you know that we know of 76 planets that are outside our own solar system? These planets orbit other stars and are called extrasolar...more
April 24, 1990, marked the beginning of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). This powerful observatory has been the world's eyes in space, peering into the deepest parts of the Universe. NASA and the scientific...more
Comet Linear was discovered on September, 27 1999. Linear has been a really interesting comet! First, Linear put on a great show for the Hubble Space Telescope. The Hubble was tracking the comet for just...more
The servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope in early March was a great success. The Telescope has been declared healthy and fit...and is better than ever! Though instruments will be tested for...more