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Universe from the eye of Hubble Space Telescope

Viewed 1080 times 2020-4-26 06:00 |System category:News

On April 24, 1990, the Space Shuttle Discovery launched, carrying the Hubble Space Telescope (HST, or just "Hubble"). This orbiting telescope was the first of NASA's great Observatories. For 30 years, HST has provided astronomers with incredible scientific data on everything from solar system objects to some of the most distant galaxies in the cosmos. Hubble was named for American astronomer Edwin Hubble, who in the early 20th century helped establish that the universe is much bigger than the Milky Way and showed the cosmos is expanding.

Hubble Images taken between 1990 and 2020, that express both the beauty of the universe and important scientific knowledge. HST is a bus-sized satellite containing a 2.4-meter-diameter mirror for focusing light from distant objects, along with a suite of instruments for photography, measuring light intensity, and taking the spectrum of various astronomical sources. Hubble is primarily an optical telescope, viewing the cosmos in the same type of light we can see, and it also has the ability to see into the infrared and ultraviolet parts of the spectrum of light. The size of the telescope and its location above Earth's atmosphere (with its pesky weather and distortions from air currents) make HST one of the best optical telescopes still in operation.

HST is jointly operated by NASA and the European Space Agency and was designed to be serviced by astronauts. Unfortunately, the Hubble needed to be repaired immediately after launch, when it turned out its mirror was slightly flawed. NASA astronauts installed additional mirrors to compensate for the flaws in 1993 and upgraded other scientific instruments on five different occasions, with the last upgrade being in 2009. Meanwhile, no plans are in the works to build an equivalent space telescope, so astronomers and nonscientists alike hope Hubble will continue to work indefinitely.

The Pillars of Creation (1995) Perhaps Hubble's most popular image involves part of the Eagle Nebula known as the "Pillars of Creation." The Eagle Nebula is a star-forming region of the Milky Way, whi ...

The Eagle Nebula in Infrared (2015) The dense gas and dust of the Eagle Nebula are opaque in visible light but transparent to infrared. Hubble's infrared vision of the Pillars of Creation reveals they ...

Prelude to a Cosmic Explosion (1995) In the early 1800s, the unremarkable star Eta Carinae in the southern constellation Carina grew suddenly brighter, briefly becoming the second-brightest star in th ...

The King of Planets (2017) While much of Hubble's greatest work involves distant stars and galaxies, the observatory has also provided a wealth of information about our solar system. This 2017 image o ...

Galaxies in Collision (2010) The Antennae Galaxies are a pair of galaxies in the process of colliding, a slow process taking hundreds of millions of years. This picture combines images from NASA's Gre ...

A Dying Star and an Hourglass (1996) Smaller stars like our sun don't explode as supernovas but shed material as they die. Some of these form "planetary nebulas" like the Hourglass Nebula, which forms ...

Northern and Southern Lights, Saturn Style (2010) Earth's seasons are caused by the fact that our axis is tilted, so the north pole points toward the sun in the summer and away in winter. Saturn has a ...

A Galactic Whirlpool (2005) The Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) is a favorite galaxy for many people, and this Hubble image shows why. As a "grand design" spiral galaxy, the spiral arms are clearly defined, do ...

The Invisible Made Visible (2009) The Bullet Cluster is actually two galaxy clusters caught in the act of collision, where the "bullet" is a shockwave in X-ray emitting hot gas (from Chandra, shown in ...

Blowing Stellar Bubbles (2016) All stars—our sun included—produce "wind" in the form of electrically charged particles blowing off the surface. The star at the center of the Bubble Nebula is 45 time ...

The Beauty of a Dying Star (2004) The Cat's-Eye Nebula may be another planetary nebula, but each star like our sun seems to die in its own beautiful and spectacular fashion. This nebula, in particular ...

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Reply Report Zorro2 2020-4-26 16:32
Hubble was named for American astronomer Edwin Hubble, who in the early 20th century helped establish that the universe is much bigger than the Milky Way and showed the cosmos is expanding.

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