Categories
Astronomy

The Eyes in our Sky

One of Earth’s most incredible science instruments, the Hubble Space Telescope, is used as one of our forms of new knowledgeable information from space. According to Ray Villard, news director for the Space Telescope Science Institute in Maryland, the Hubble Space Telescope has provided us with well over 570,000 images and observed nearly 45,000 celestial objects to date (Villard), with its most recent achievement being its 29th year in orbit on April 24, 2019. The HST has been incredibly successful in providing astronomers with more and more information from space through its findings from the moment it was created, to the way it operates. This paper will give a detailed analysis of the history of the telescope and how it works. It will also show some of the interesting facts about it and the current discoveries associated with the glasses.

 

The HST is classified to be an optical telescope, which is a telescope that gathers and focuses visible light that the universe.  The telescope was named Humble Space Telescope by NASA because of Edwin Hubble who was an astronomer by then. Edwin discovered an expanding universe by 1929. That discovery formed the basis of the theories associated with evolution and creation of the world such as the ‘big bang’ theory. The instrument is protected against visible, ultraviolet and far infrared light by spectrographs equipped in it. It was designed by NASA to be used by astronauts as a replacement of science instruments and observatory components during orbit service calls. This observatory equipment was then replaced with others which were more advanced with the current technology. Another reason for the design was to reduce the failures of astronauts during their mission associated with instrument failures. The telescope was protected against such failures still. As much the telescope was named after Edwin Hubble, the discovery started with another person by the name Lyman Spitzer who was a researcher and professor at an institution by the name Yale University. He wrote a book by the name ‘astronomical advantages of an extraterrestrial observatory. This is where he explains that a space-based telescope could take photos that were much clear through the invasion of the Earth’s atmosphere (Garner, Hubble Space Telescope, 2015). The telescope could also conduct a detection of the frequencies related to electromagnetic which glasses that were ground-based could not handle.

HST got launched in April 1990, and this was when it took the first image which was a cluster of a star. The launching was hosted by a discovery by the name Space Shuttle. However, the picture continued being notoriously unremarkable due to various reasons. The telescope experienced its first light when it was subjected to light which traveled through detectors and telescopes optics. The light images seemed to be somehow unimpressive as they were for a test and not for the public viewing. At first, the experience was not good at all, and it was so demotivating. This is because some of the people who were invited to see the Hubble space telescope opening started asking questions that were irrelevant at some point. Some are asking if that is how the instrument was supposed to work or appear without because it was tested for the first time. The discovery, however, continued despite the discouragements. The first image was said to have been fifty percent sharper than the rest. This showed improvement against the ground-based telescope which was already in place. As the engineers tried improving the quality of the image they discovered that the primary defect was the telescope’s main mirror. After three years the engineers managed to work on them, but then it had an aberration that was spherical due to the process of its manufacturing.

As this was not enough, NASA conducted a mission, and that was in 1993. Seven astronauts were sent to Hubble where they stayed there for five days performing installation of two cameras in the machine. Other images were taken, and at that time they managed to reach it. By then they were much sharper, and the focus was more than fifty percent. That was a great success to the agency as such repairs of that manner could not have happened on any other telescope which was space-based. Therefore, Hubble was said to be the first one to be designed by NASA, repaired and serviced in space. In more than 25 years, the telescope has been reported to have taken the most incomprehensibly stunning images about the vast in the ancient universe.

Importance of the object and why it is compelling in the field of astronomy

There are some interesting facts about this telescope one of them being that it weighs a maximum number of 24500 pounds which is equivalent to two bush elephants found in Africa and male by gender. Its size is like that of a big school bus and doesn’t use a lot of power. Just like a hair-dryer which uses 1800 watts, Hubble requires 2100 watts as an average. Another interesting fact about the telescope is that it has observed light that has been there in over 13.4 billion years in the universe and more locations by use of light in that connection. It has been seen to be the most scientific instrument that is productive since it was built(“Hubble Space Telescope Facts.” Research, Discovery, & Innovation). This is because astronomers have used it to publish journals that are more than 13000 articles. It takes just fifteen minutes to rotate the earth at a 90 degree and orbits at a speed of 17000 miles in one hour.

Recent discoveries in the field

Some photos taken in March 2019 have shown there are assorted colors noted from the images taken by the newest detector which happens to be very sharp wide field camera 3. Gases that glow in Nebula are observed with various colors of light, e.g., Red is seen as sulfur, blue is oxygen, orange is nitrogen and green is hydrogen. Hubble has made it possible for astronauts to view the dark matter by constructing a 3-D map where the distribution of the dark matter is at its depth (Villard, 2019). The plan has shown that the question has continued to increase over time since it exhibits a quite ordinary gravity. The analysis about distortions which occur due to the dark matter’s gravity from distant galaxies has helped in the construction. When it comes to Pluto and the kins, Hubble has helped in the discovery of two new moons and has shown some seasonal changes in the surface(“Hubble Space Telescope.” National Aeronautics and Space Administration,). It has helped in finding out that Eris’ mass is 27 percent more than Pluto. Such observations and discoveries about distant bodies are some of the current knowledge in this field. The big question that remains is how long the Hubble Space Telescope will last?

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is true that HST has continued to support many discoveries across the world and has improved the astronomy field greatly. It contains interesting facts which make it essential and exciting in the field of astronomy. Some of these facts are that its size is equivalent to that of a big school bus and that it uses 2100 watts.

Works Cited

Garner, Rob. “Hubble Space Telescope.” NASA, NASA, 15 Jan. 2015, www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/main/index.html.

“Hubble Space Telescope Facts.” Research, Discovery, & Innovation, The University of Arizona, research.arizona.edu/learn-more/hubble-space-telescope-facts.

“Hubble Space Telescope.” National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA,      amazing-space.stsci.edu/resources/print/lithos/hst_litho.pdf.

Villard, Ray. “News – Hubble Celebrates 29th Anniversary with a Colorful Look at the Southern Crab Nebula.” HubbleSite, 18 Apr. 2019, hubblesite.org/news_release/news/2019-15.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *