Top 10 Things You need to Know about Hubble Telescope
I happened to be googling this afternoon, and found that Google was celebrating the 20th anniversary of Hubble Telescope’s Launch. Man! Has it been 20 years since we’ve been stalking all the heavenly bodies in their full glare? Right since I was kid, I’ve been looking at the images sent back by Hubble, and have always wondered how big the universe is. I thought of bringing in the post from Mirror and talk a little bit about the Hubble Telescope and its history.
10. Hubble is born, and is named after astronomer Edwin P.Hubble
Edwin Powell Hubble showed to us that our group of stars wasn’t end of the universe. He gave us the concept of galaxies, and demonstrated that there are other galaxies out there other than Milkyway. He also managed to observe the difference in the Doppler effect from two points in Universe measured from earth, which led to the basis of understanding about an expanding universe. Sad thing was, until the death of Hubble, Noble committee had doubts whether physics discoveries could be included in the prizing category. It was only after his death Noble committee decided include the category.
9. An observatory, which has revolutionized astronomy by bringing home unseen pictures of the Universe.
Since the launch of the Hubble telescope in 24th April 1990, ( I was 3 years old), It has orbited earth a million times and taken several thousands of pictures of distant parts of universe and sent back to earth. Images taken by Hubble have given sufficient data to work with in order to come to a conclusion about many mysteries surrounding the distant universe. One of the famous image brought by Hubble was of Nebula. Haven’t seen it? I don’t think so, You should have probably set it as wallpaper at least once.
8. At 5 Miles/Sec, Hubble completes one orbit every 96 minutes, just 360 miles above surface of earth.
With an incredible speed of 5 miles/ sec Hubble is capable of orbiting earth in just 96 minutes! The speed is 7,500 m/s in other words. And Hubble weighs around 11,000 kg, just for a quick fact.
7. Hubble has main mirror which is 2400cm in diameter and belongs to a category called Cassegrain.
Cassegrain mirrors are a type of combination of reflectors. In this type of setup, the primary mirror is a Concave mirror and the secondary reflector is a convex mirror and both are aligned in the optical axis in a symmetrical setup (not understanding? get your physics right).
6. Hubble has shot pictures of more than 30k objects
Since the launch of Hubble telescope, it has encountered more than 30,000 heavenly objects and has successfully taken thousands of pictures of those and sent back to earth. Just from the numbers it happens to be amazingly huge.
5. Hubble helps to solve Dark Energy
With the images sent back by Hubble telescope, the scientists were able to study the universe in a much better manner, and they were able to study that universe is of 13 to 14 billion years old. Hubble has helped scientists a lot by giving information in order to understand what is called as “Dark Energy” which is supposed to be a mysterious force that is causing the universe to accelerate the expansion.
4. Hubble helps 6K articles to get published
This giant telescope by bringing home colorful images, has given a tool for scientists and astrophysicists to work with. Many scientists have done a lot of research and study upon the images sent by Hubble, and by them a hopping 6000 and above number of Scientific articles have been published till date, and will continue to grow.
3. Doctors say, He’ll only live up to 2013
Hubble can stop orbiting or functioning from anywhere between 2013 to 2021, depending on its health and conditions. Hubble is orbiting in earth’s uppermost atmosphere which happens to be extremely tenuous . Because of the high speed that Hubble orbits at, it keeps on getting dragged and torn out because of the friction. Thus considering all these factors, it wouldn’t be much of a use even after services after 2013. Thus it is supposed to enter the earth’s atmosphere somewhere between 2013 and 2021.
2. It is dying
Hubble will work till the point where the telescope will completely stop working because the components with which the telescope is made of is getting degraded every single second because of the ongoing friction in the upper atmosphere. And once the satellite is completely decayed, it will crash back on the earth’s surface.
1. Good News, Hubble’s having a Baby
James Webb Space Telescope is the new telescope that is being constructed which will be probably launched in 2014 as a successor to Hubble. It will feature a Three Mirror Anastigmat telescope, and is destined to work for at least a period of 5 years, although the target is 10 years. The mirror system of this telescope is almost six times the size of what is used in the Hubble telescope. And this telescope will mainly be observing things in Infra Red region. Ariane 5 is the vehicle which is assigned the task of launching the telescope to the orbit.
That was a quick recap of the 20 years of lifetime Hubble had had. Any comments about something you know about the telescope, may be you are from SETI and you are not a good secret keeper ? enlighten us .