Hubble Space Telescope


Hubble Space Telescope Essay, Research Paper

Hubble Space Telescope

The Hubble Space Telescope is the product of a joint effort between National

Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA).

It was delivered into low-Earth orbit by the space shuttle Discovery on April 25th, 1990.

The planning and operation of the HST is done for NASA by the Space Telescope

Science Institute (STScI). The HST s cameras provide NASA with high resolution

photographs of distant celestial objects, its spectrograph provides information on the

spectra of said objects, its near infrared camera gives infrared imaging of astronomical

targets, and its faint object camera produces images 100,000 times brighter than the light

received from objects dimmer than the 21st magnitude.

In its almost 11 years of service, the HST has provided NASA with an abundance

of stellar images. It has been able to shed some light on black holes. When comet

Shoemaker-Levy 9 collided with Jupiter in July of 1994, the HST was incredibly useful in

gathering information and pictures of an amazing event. The Hubble Deep Field is a great

example of how important the HST has been in gathering information on evolution of

galaxies and the expansion of the universe. HST has been able to locate supernovae that

took place long ago, a task that was impossible before the HST. Astronomers using the

HST have been able to estimate the age of the universe much more accurately than ever

before. In the near future, the Hubble is expected to gather information on the conditions

for planet formation. In studying globular clusters, it will be known if planets can exist

and survive in crowded stellar environments. More will be known about the ultimate fate

of the universe because of Hubble s spectacular vision of distant supernovae.

Astronomers are trying to find out what the universe is consisted of besides normal

matter. It is thought that there is dark matter inbetween galaxies. It is not known where

this dark matter is residing and why it is there.

Objects viewed in the Hubble Deep Field are over 12 billion light years away.

From the most distant celestial objects, the light received is that of the 30th magnitude,

about 4 billion times fainter than stars visible to the unaided eye. The most interesting

thing about the Hubble Deep Field is that the light gathered from the most distant

galaxies is over 10 billion years old, from when the universe was only 5% its current age.

As it looks out into the vast universe, it also looks back in time. The Hubble Deep Field

has helped tremendously in understanding how galaxies evolve and change over time. It

has also been used to estimate that the majority of stars in the universe were formed when

the universe was less than half of its current age. The Hubble Deep Field has been used to

estimate the number of galaxies in the universe, and with further examination, it will be

extremely helpfull in estimating the size of the universe. Even after all that the Hubble

Space Telescope has discovered, it is just the tip of the iceberg.

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