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Hubble Space Telescope Tips

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Can you tell me some facts about the Hubble Telescope?

The Story of the Hubble Telescope

In 1990, the Discovery Space Shuttle, manned by five astronauts, officially launched and deployed the Hubble Telescope into space. The Hubble Telescope is a significant advancement in the history of humankind. It is a telescopic observatory in space which circles the earth 380 times a day, 375 miles above the Earth, and transmits daily astronomical data back to our planet. The Hubble Telescope is over 43 feet long, weighs an earthly poundage of eleven tons, and equipped with state-of-the-art optics and instruments which provide stunning views of our universe.

What discoveries has the Hubble Space Telescope made?

Space Discoveries By the Hubble Space Telescope

Since its deployment into space in 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope has made several significant discoveries about the universe:

• The Hubble Space Telescope has captured the birth and death of stars, assisting scientists in understanding the process of how stars come into being as well as what circumstances lead to a star's death.

• Prior to the use of the Hubble Space Telescope, scientists were not certain what the origin of gamma rays, which are intense fiery galactic bursts occurring in our galaxy was. Now, the Hubble has shown that gamma rays start from distant galaxies.

• During the early 1990's, the Hubble Space Telescope discovered proof of the existence of black holes, which reside through the core of most galaxies.

• The Hubble Space Telescope gathered information allowing scientists to determine the universe is continually expanding at a very rapid rate. In 1999, the Hubble completed an eight-year study determining the expansion rate of the universe.

Did the Hubble Telescope recently discover two moons?

Two Moons of Pluto

In 2006, the Hubble Telescope discovered two moons orbiting around Pluto, the ninth and smallest planet of our solar system. These two moons of Pluto are two to three times farther away and 5,000 times fainter than Pluto's large moon Charon, which was discovered in 1978. The International Astronomical Union has dubbed the two moons of Pluto, Nix and Hydra. The two moons have their roots in Greek mythology. The moon Nix takes its name from a derivative of Nyx, the Greek goddess of darkness, while the moon Hydra takes its name directly from the nine-headed serpent guardian of the underworld.

What is the current news about the Hubble Telescope?

The Hubble Telescope Today

The Hubble Telescope today continues to use cutting-edge technology to deliver over 10 gigabytes of information to astronomers on a daily basis. However, the future of the Hubble Telescope hangs in the balance. The Hubble Telescope needs a replacement to its stabilizing gyroscopes. Without a servicing mission, the Hubble could re-enter the atmosphere any time after 2010. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is attempting to undertake a servicing mission some time between 2007 to 2008. If the endeavor comes to fruition, The Hubble Telescope will receive new batteries, gyroscopes, a guidance sensor, and an upgrade of its scientific instruments. The mission would keep the Hubble in operation until at least 2013.

A successor to the Hubble Telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope is scheduled for a launch into space in 2013.

Who is credited with the idea behind the Hubble Space Telescope?

An Outer Space Idea – The Hubble Space Telescope

Although the Hubble Space Telescope was ultimately created through a joint effort between the European Space Agency and the American National Aeronautics and Space Administration, one man had an idea that sparked the beginning. Lyman Spitzer Jr. conceived the idea of putting a telescopic observatory into outer space and made a proposal for it in 1946. Spitzer played an integral role in the design and development of the Hubble Space Telescope and continued to be involved with it long after it launched into outer space. Up until the time of this death in 1997, Spitzer contributed to the analysis of data from the Hubble Space Telescope.

Who was the Hubble Telescope named after?

Edwin Powell Hubble – The Name Behind the Hubble Telescope

The Hubble Space Telescope, launched in 1990, orbits around the Earth's atmosphere even today and is responsible for gathering revolutionary research from outer space. The Hubble Telescope was named after Edwin Powell Hubble, an astronomer who lived from 1889-1953. Though Hubble was an accomplished authority on astronomy and credited with developing the theory of an expanding universe, Hubble actually was not involved with the actual creation of the Hubble Telescope. The Hubble Space Telescope was an effort undertaken by two organizations, the European Space Agency and the American National Aeronautics and Space Administration who named their space telescope in Hubble's honor.

Has there been a recent discovery of a planet by the Hubble Telescope?

Jumping Jupiter – Another Planet?

Beta Pictoris, the second brightest star in the constellation Pictor, may not be alone. The Hubble Telescope has taken photos around Beta Pictoris showing two dust disks circling around it. The photos, taken in 2006 by the Hubble's Advanced Camera, shows evidence of the possible existence of a planet. The size of this potential planet is speculated to be much larger than Jupiter. NASA theorizes that a planet 20 times the size of Jupiter is causing the creations of these disks by sweeping out material while it orbits Beta Pictoris.

What will happen to the space shuttles that service the Hubble Telescope?

Grounding The Space Shuttles

Three space shuttles with ties to the Hubble Space Telescope, the Atlantic, Discovery, and Endeavor, will eventually retire. The question is, where will they end up? As of July in 2006, visitor complexes in NASA's Alabama, Florida, and Texas locations have top dibs on at least one of the shuttles. Other possible future locations include the National Museum of the United States Air force in Ohio and locations in California. While museum officials hash out the details, the three space shuttles still have a heavy itinerary ahead of them – a minimum of 15 more flights to the International Space Station and one possible service maintenance to the Hubble Space Telescope.

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Tammi Reynolds