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Coming up this Friday is the 25th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope. Let’s all take a moment to remember this, one of the most important telescopes ever made by the human race. Included with each of these items are images taken by the telescope.
It has a 7.9-foot mirror
The Hubble Space Telescope works using a huge mirror to collect and direct light. To maximize the amount of light caught, the mirror was made almost 8 feet across.
It’s in space for a reason
Telescopes on the ground have a big problem – the atmosphere. Air pockets in the upper atmosphere distort images from the ground (This is the reason that stars appear to twinkle in the night’s sky). So, the Hubble Telescope’s main advantage is that its images would not be distorted.
It gave us the age of the universe
Among other discoveries, the deep-space images taken by the telescope helped us zero in on the approximate age of the universe: 10 to 20 billion years.
It’s moving very fast
The Hubble Space Telescope is in orbit around Earth and does so very, very fast. It goes around the planet once every 97 minutes. It could pass over an area the size of the United States in 10 minutes. All told, it flies along at a speed of five miles per second.
It’s actually a collection of 6 different instruments
Once the mirror collects the light, the telescope has to do something with it. So, in the base are a group of 6 different instruments to capture several different wavelengths of light.