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
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