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 is credited with finding 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 numerous instruments orbit the Earth at approximately 600 km above the surface. The range of instruments includes cameras that take pictures of distant objects to spectrographs that analyze incoming light. Between 1993 and 2009, NASA sent five Space Shuttle missions to the Hubble to repair and upgrade its systems and scientific instruments. After the final servicing mission, 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) increase our understanding of the universe by providing observations across a wider portion 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 issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, as well as books
on science education!
You might also be interested in:
The introduction of telescopes to the study of astronomy opened up the universe, but it took some time for astronomers to realize how vast the universe could be. Telescopes revealed that our night sky...more
Everyone is awed by black holes. How could there be a thing that just devours all light and matter around it...so that that matter can never again escape?!? Scientists using observations from the Chandra...more
To date, 76 extrasolar planets are known. Yesterday, the first detection of an extrasolar planetary atmosphere was announced! As well, this is the first chemical analysis to be done on the atmosphere of...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, by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research program. Astronomers thought LINEAR would not be as spectacular as other recent comets like Hyakutake and...more
The servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope in early March looks to have been a great success. Four weeks after the servicing mission, the Telescope has been declared healthy and fit...and is frankly,...more
Pluto has // Call the moon count function defined in the document head print_moon_count('pluto'); known moons. Charon, the largest by far, was discovered in 1978 by the American astronomer James Christy....more