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Hubble Telescope. Exploring the far reaches of the universe. By Blake Shaffer. The Launch. Named after American Astronomer Edwin P. Hubble (1889-1953). Hubble was launched in 1990 and orbits the earth. NASA’s most successful and long lasting science mission. Hubble has helped determine;

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hubble telescope

Hubble Telescope

Exploring the far reaches of the universe.

By Blake Shaffer

the launch
The Launch
  • Named after American Astronomer Edwin P. Hubble (1889-1953).
  • Hubble was launched in 1990 and orbits the earth.
  • NASA’s most successful and long lasting science mission.
  • Hubble has helped determine;
    • the age of the universe
    • Identity of quasars
    • The existence of dark energy
quick facts
Quick Facts
  • Mission
    • Launch was on April 24, 1990 from space shuttle discovery
      • There have been 5 servicing missions.
  • Size
    • Length: 43.5 ft (13.2 m)Weight: 24,500 lb (11,110 kg)Maximum Diameter: 14 ft (4.2 m)
  • Cost at Launch$1.5 billion

Changing Astronomy

-Amongst it’s many discoveries, Hubble revealed the age of the universe to around 13-14 billion years old.

-Dark energy is a mysterious force that causes the expansion of the universe

-Shown scientists galaxies in all stages of evolution

-Found protoplanetary disks, which likely function as birthing place for new planets

telescope in space
Telescope In Space?
  • Direct solution to earth bound telescopes.
  • Hubblesposition above the atmosphere allows it to get a greater view of the universe because our atmosphere distorts the light that reaches our planet, this is called “Atmospheric Distortion”
  • Atmospheric Distortion is what causes the stars to twinkle in the night sky.
  • The most effective way to avoid the problems of the atmosphere is to place your telescope beyond it. Or, in Hubble's case, 353 miles (569 km) above the surface of Earth.
how it works
How It Works
  • Every 97 minutes, Hubble completes a spin around Earth, moving at the speed of about five miles per second (8 km per second) — fast enough to travel across the United States in about 10 minutes. As it travels, Hubble's mirror captures light and directs it into its several science instruments.
  • Hubble is a type of telescope known as a Cassegrain reflector.
  • Since Hubbles primary mirror is so large, it can collect more light therefore giving it greater vision.
  • The size of Hubbles primary mirror is 94.5 inches in diameter.
  • Once the mirror captures the light, Hubble's science instruments work together or individually to provide the observation. Each instrument is designed to examine the universe in a different way.
wide field camera 3 wfc3
Wide field Camera 3(WFC3)
  • Sees 3 different kinds of light
    • Near-ultraviolet
    • Visible
    • Near-infrared
  • Resolution and field of view are greater than that of Hubbles other instruments
  • WFC3 is one of Hubble's two newest instruments, and will be used to study dark energy and dark matter, the formation of individual stars and the discovery of extremely remote galaxies previously beyond Hubble's vision.
the cosmic origins spectrograph cos
The Cosmic Origins Spectrograph(COS)
  •  Hubble's other new instrument
  • It is a spectrograph that sees exclusively in ultraviolet light
  •  Spectrographs acts something like prisms, separating light from the cosmos into its component colors.
  •  provides a wavelength "fingerprint" of the object being observed, which tells us about its temperature, chemical composition, density, and motion
  •  COS will improve Hubble's ultraviolet sensitivity at least 10 times, and up to 70 times when observing extremely faint objects.
advanced camera for surveys acs
Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS)
  • Sees visible light
  • Designed to study some of the earliest activity in the universe.
  •  ACS helps map the distribution of dark matter, detects the most distant objects in the universe, searches for massive planets, and studies the evolution of clusters of galaxies.
  • ACS partially stopped working in 2007 due to an electrical short, but was repaired during Servicing Mission 4 in May 2009.
space telescope imaging spectrograph stis
Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS)
  • A spectrograph that sees ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared light.
  • Known for its ability to hunt for black holes
  • STIS can map out larger objects like galaxies
  •  STIS stopped working due to a technical failure on August 3, 2004, but was also repaired during Servicing Mission 4.
near infrared camera and multi object spectrometer nicmos
 Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS)
  • This is basically Hubbles heat sensor
  •  Its sensitivity to infrared light — perceived by humans as heat — lets it observe objects hidden by interstellar dust, like stellar birth sites, and gaze into the depths of space
fine guidance sensors fgs
Fine Guidance Sensors (FGS)
  • devices that lock onto "guide stars" and keep Hubble pointed in the right direction.
  • They can be used to precisely measure the distance between stars, and their relative motions.
  • All of Hubble's functions are powered by sunlight. Hubble sports solar arrays that convert sunlight directly into electricity.
houston we have a problem
Houston we have a problem
  • Almost immediately after Hubble was in orbit, it was clear that there was a problem
  • The pictures weren’t as pristine as promised
  • Hubble's primary mirror, polished so carefully and lovingly over the course of a full year, had a flaw called "spherical aberration." It was just slightly the wrong shape, causing the light that bounced off the center of the mirror to focus in a different place than the light bouncing off the edge.
  • The solution was the COSTAR, a series of mirrors that could be used to intercept the light reflecting off the mirror and correct the flaw
  • December 2nd 1993, COSTAR was installed and original wide field/planetary camera was replaced with the WFPC2
  •  February 1997, astronauts replaced the Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph and the Faint Object Spectrograph with improved instruments, the Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer and the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph.
  • In December 1999, they replaced a transmitter, all six gyroscopes, and one of three Fine Guidance Sensors, which allow fine pointing and keep Hubble stable during operations.
  • February 2002, astronauts added the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), the first new instrument to be installed in Hubble since 1997. ACS doubled Hubble's field of view, using a much more sensitive detector than WFPC2.
the final the last encounter
The Final The Last Encounter
  • On October 31, 2006 Mike Griffin announced that Hubble would be serviced again
  • Servicing Mission 4 took place in May 2009.
  • Astronauts upgraded the telescope with the Wide Field Camera 3 and the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph, and repaired the Advanced Camera for Surveys and the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph.
  • They replaced the Science Instrument Command and Data Handling unit (SIC&DH), which helps command the science instruments and control the flow of data within the telescope
  • Servicing mission 4 would pose to be the last service mission on the Hubble and is perceived to extend it’s life into 2013
the end is nigh
The End is Nigh
  • As they say, all good things must come to an end. Hubble’s components will slowly degrade to the point at which the telescope stops working.
  • When this does happened Hubble will continue to orbit the Earth until its orbit decays, it will then spiral towards Earth
  • Hubble’s legacy, it’s discoveries, its success in showing us the universe will live on!