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The tiny MOST satellite with mission scientist Jaymie Matthews.
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Canadian Space Agency

MOST - Canada's first space telescope

The MOST (Micro-variability and Oscillations in STars) satellite is Canada's first space telescope. It is about the same size as a large suitcase. It was launched into orbit from Russia in June 2003 using a missile that was originally built for a nuclear warhead. Under an international peace treaty the missile was required to be destroyed anyway, so they decided to use it for science!

Inside MOST, there is a 6-inch diameter reflecting telescope and a high quality digital camera. Scientists use the camera to take a series of images of pulsating stars, and record the amount of light reaching us over time. They use this information to learn about the insides of the stars, with a technique called astero-seismology.

The scientists communicate with MOST and receive data through a few small radio dishes located in Toronto, Vancouver, and Vienna. Since it is tiny compared to the Hubble Space Telescope, MOST has earned its nickname: the "humble space telescope". It may be small, but it has already made some big discoveries! Visit the MOST website for details.

Last modified December 12, 2006 by Travis Metcalfe.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA