THE HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE.
On the 24th April 1990 a joint venture of EAS and NASA launched the Space telescope 'Hubble' into an orbit 600 km above earth
It's landmark achievements include:
Although the Satellite wasn't immediately able to perform as expected, due to manufacturing errors, these shortcomings were soon rectified following a servicing mission (via the Space Shuttle) that corrected the optics and Solar panels.
Over the last Fifteen years the Hubble telescope has flown more
than 4 billion kilometres, and has made nearly 88,000 orbits of the earth.
As its orbit puts it above the earths atmosphere, it's view of the universe is not obscured by dust and moisture, this allows this modest 2.4 metre telescope to perform extremely well, and during this time it has captured numerous spectacular images of the universe.
- Helped astronomers calculate the precise age of the universe
(13.7 billion years old)
- Helped confirm the existence of a strange form of energy called dark energy
- Detected small proto-galaxies that emitted their light when the
universe was less than a billion years old
- Proved the existence of super-massive black holes
- Provided sharp views of a comet hitting Jupiter
- Showed that the process of forming planetary systems is common
throughout the galaxy, and
- Taken more than 700,000 snapshots of celestial objects such as
galaxies, dying stars, and giant gas clouds where stars are born.
To mark the 15 years of achievement, the European Space Agency has commissioned a full-length DVD film (one of the most widely distributed documentary films ever) - The DVD that was shown at the club on the 9th June 2005.
Some of the awe inspiring images and further information can be seen at the Official Hubble Website.
Image credit heic0506a: NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI), and The Hubble
Heritage Team (STScI/AURA).
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and to the best of my knowledge is accurate.
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due to the use of this data.