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The Hubble telescope has become a legend. The most interesting facts

What is the Hubble?

American scientist Edwin Powell Hubble became widely known thanks to the discovery of the expansion effect of the universe. He is still often mentioned in his articles by great scientists. Hubble is the person after whom the radio telescope was named, and thanks to which there was a complete replacement of all associations and stereotypes.



The Hubble telescope is one of the most famous among objects that are directly related to space. It can be safely considered a true automatic orbital observatory. This space giant demanded a considerable financial investment (after all, the costs of an unearthly telescope exceeded the cost of the ground one hundreds of times), as well as resources and time. Based on this, the two largest agencies in the world, such as NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), decided to combine their capabilities and make a joint project.

In what year it was launched, is no longer classified information. Launch into Earth orbit took place on April 24, 1990 aboard the shuttle "Discovery" STS-31. Returning to history, it is worth mentioning that the launch year was originally planned different. The estimated date was to be October 1986, but in January of that year, Challenger’s catastrophe happened and everyone was forced to postpone the planned launch. With each month of downtime, the cost of the program increased by $ 6 million. It’s not so easy to keep the object that needs to be sent into space in perfect condition. The Hubble was In a special room, in which a cleaned atmosphere was artificially created, as well as onboard systems partially functioned, during storage, some of the devices were also replaced with more modern ones.

When the Hubble was launched, everyone was expecting an incredible triumph, but not immediately, everything was as they wanted. Scientists have encountered problems from the very first shots. It was clear that there was a defect in the telescope mirror, and the quality of the images was different from what was expected. It was also not entirely clear how many years will pass from the moment a problem is discovered to its solution. After all, it was obvious that it was impossible to replace the main mirror of the telescope directly in orbit, and it was extremely expensive to return it to Earth, so it was decided that additional equipment should be installed on it and due to it to compensate for the mirror defect. So, already in December 1993 the shuttle Endeavor was sent with the necessary designs. The astronauts went out into outer space five times and were able to successfully install the necessary details on the Hubble telescope.

What did the telescope see in space? And what discoveries could mankind make based on pictures? These are some of the most common questions asked by scientists ever. Of course, the largest stars captured by the telescope did not go unnoticed. Namely, due to the uniqueness of the telescope, astronomers simultaneously revealed nine huge stars (in the star cluster R136), whose mass exceeds the mass of the Sun more than 100 times. Stars were also discovered whose mass exceeds the mass of the Sun by 50 times.

Also, the photo depicts two hundred insanely hot stars that together give us the NGC 604 nebula was captured. It was the Hubble that was able to capture the fluorescence of the nebula, which was caused by ionized hydrogen.

Speaking of the Big Bang theory, which today is one of the most widely discussed and most reliable in the history of the origin of the Universe, it is worth recalling the relict radiation. Relic radiation is one of its fundamental evidence. And here is another cosmological redshift. Together, the manifestation of the Doppler effect. On it, the body sees objects that approach it in blue, and if they move away, they become more red. So, observing space objects from the Hubble telescope, the shift was red and on this basis a conclusion was made about the expansion of the Universe.

Looking at images from a telescope, one of the first you will see the Far Field. In the photo, you don’t see the stars separately - they will be whole galaxies. And immediately the question arises: how far does the telescope see and what is its extreme boundary? In order to answer how the telescope sees so far, you need to consider in detail the design of the Hubble.



Telescope specifications:

  • Overall dimensions of the entire satellite: 13.3 m - length, weight about 11 tons, but taking into account all installed devices, its mass reaches 12.5 tons and its diameter is 4.3 m.
  • The shape of the orientation accuracy can reach 0.007 arc seconds.
  • Two double-sided solar panels with a capacity of 5 kW, but there are 6 more batteries with a capacity of 60 amperes / hour.
  • All engines run on hydrazine.
  • An antenna that is capable of receiving all data at a speed of 1 kB / s, and transmitting - 256/512 kB / s.
  • The main mirror, whose diameter is 2.4 m, as well as the auxiliary one, is 0.3 m. The material of the main mirror is fused silica glass, which is not amenable to thermal deformation.
  • What an increase, such a focal length, namely 56.6 m.
  • Multiplicity of treatment — once per hour and a half.
  • The radius of the Hubble sphere is the ratio of the speed of light to the Hubble constant.
  • Emission characteristics - 1050-8000 angstroms.
  • But at what height above the Earth’s surface the satellite is known for a long time. It is 560 km.

How does the Hubble telescope work?


The principle of operation of the telescope is a reflector of the Ritchie-Chretien system. The structure of the system is the main mirror, which is concave hyperbolic, but its auxiliary mirror is convex hyperbolic. A device installed in the very center of a hyperbolic mirror is called an eyepiece. The field of view is about 4 °.

So who did take part in the creation of this amazing telescope, which, despite its venerable age, continues to please us with its discoveries?

The history of creation goes back to the distant seventies of the 20th century. Several companies worked on the most important parts of the telescope, namely the main mirror. After all, the requirements were put forward rather stringent, and the result was planned perfect. So, PerkinElmer wanted to use its machines with new technologies to achieve the desired shape. But the company Kodak signed a contract that suggested the use of more traditional methods, but for spare parts. Manufacturing work began back in 1979, and polishing of the necessary parts continued until mid-1981. The dates were very shifted, and the question of PerkinElmer's competence arose, and the launch of the telescope in October 1984 was postponed. Soon, more and more incompetence manifested itself, and the launch date was postponed several times. History confirms that one of the expected dates was September 1986, while the total budget of the entire project grew to $ 1.175 billion.



And finally, information about the most interesting and significant observations of the Hubble telescope:


  • Planets that are outside the solar system have been discovered.
  • Found a huge number of protoplanetary disks that are located around the stars of the Orion Nebula.
  • There was a discovery in the study of the surface of Pluto and Eris. The first cards were received.
  • Partial confirmation of the theory of very massive black holes that are located in the centers of galaxies is also important.
  • It has been shown that the Milky Way and the Andromeda Nebula are quite similar in shape and have significant differences in their history of occurrence.
  • The exact age of our universe was uniquely established. It is 13.7 billion years.
  • The isotropic hypotheses are also true.
  • In 1998, the research and observations of ground-based telescopes and the Hubble were combined, and it was found that in dark energy ¾ the content of the total density of all the energy of the universe.

Space exploration continues ...

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