The tiny MOST satellite with mission scientist Jaymie Matthews.
Click on image for full size
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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