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Hubble
Hubble Space Telescope Mission to Our Solar System Hubble Space Telescope Mission to Beyond Our Solar System

Goals: The Hubble Space Telescope was designed to provide clear and deep views of distant galaxies and stars and most of the planets in our solar system. Hubble's domain extends from the ultraviolet, through the visible, and to the near-infrared.

Accomplishments: Lasting far beyond its planned lifetime, Hubble has had a major impact in every area of astronomy, from the solar system to objects at the edge of the universe. Results from the orbiting telescope are the backbone of more than 3,500 technical papers. It also, of course, continues to dazzle with stunning pictures of stars, galaxies and planets. The Hubble Deep Field image showing thousands of galaxies in a tiny speck of sky is one of the most memorable images in human history.

A few highlights: The orbiting telescope provided the first evidence our Universe is expanding more quickly than it has in the past. It made a more precise estimate of the age of universe (12 to 13 billion years old). And it helped scientists uncover the recipe for planets, reinforcing an assumption that planets are common in our universe and aiding in the search for Earthlike worlds.

   

Key Dates
24 Apr 1990:  Launch
25 Apr 1990:  Deployment by Space Shuttle Discovery
Status: Extended Mission in Progress
Fast Facts
Hubble Facts Hubble is about the size of a large school bus - 13.2 meters (43.5 feet).

It weighs 11,110 kg (24,500 pounds) - as much as two full-grown elephants.

Hubble is the world's first space-based optical telescope.

In an average orbit Hubble uses 3,000 watts of energy - roughly the same as 30 household light bulbs.

Hubble is the world's first space-based optical telescope.

It is named for American astronomer Edwin P. Hubble (1889-1953). Dr. Hubble confirmed an "expanding" universe, which provided the foundation for the Big Bang theory.

Hubble can't obvserve the Sun or Mercury, which is too close to the Sun.
Science & Technology Features
People Spotlight
Nancy Roman Nancy Roman
"Many people made it clear that astronomy was not a field for a woman, but I am glad I was stubborn. I have had a wonderful career! Read More...
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Last Updated: 6 May 2013