The Hubble Space Telescope is a powerful instrument that has greatly enhanced our understanding of the universe. It has captured stunning images of the cosmos and provided astronomers with valuable data to study various celestial bodies. In this context, Quizlet is a popular platform where learners can access study materials related to the Hubble Space Telescope. This quizlet covers various aspects such as the history of the telescope, its purpose, discoveries, and impact on astronomy.
The Hubble Space Telescope: A Brief Overview
The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is a space telescope that has been in operation since 1990. It was named after the astronomer Edwin Hubble, who made significant contributions to the field of extragalactic astronomy. The HST is one of the largest and most versatile telescopes ever built, and it has revolutionized our understanding of the universe.
How Does the HST Work?
The HST orbits the Earth at an altitude of approximately 550 kilometers (340 miles). It is equipped with a variety of scientific instruments, including cameras, spectrographs, and interferometers, which allow astronomers to observe objects in space across a wide range of wavelengths, from ultraviolet to infrared.
What Has the HST Discovered?
Over the years, the HST has made numerous groundbreaking discoveries. For example, it has:
Provided evidence for the existence of dark energy, a mysterious force that is causing the expansion of the universe to accelerate.
Detected the first evidence of atmospheric ozone on a planet outside of our solar system.
Revealed the complex structure and evolution of galaxies.
Discovered thousands of new galaxies, including some of the most distant objects ever observed.
Helped to refine our understanding of the age and size of the universe.
The History of the HST
The HST was first proposed in the 1960s, but it wasn’t until the 1980s that the project gained momentum. The telescope was launched into space on April 24, 1990, aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. However, shortly after it was deployed, it became clear that there was a problem with the telescope’s primary mirror, which was causing images to be blurry.
The Hubble Space Telescope has been in operation since 1990 and has revolutionized our understanding of the universe. Equipped with a variety of scientific instruments, it has made numerous groundbreaking discoveries, from providing evidence for the existence of dark energy to discovering thousands of new galaxies and refining our understanding of the age and size of the universe. The telescope has had a profound impact on our understanding of the cosmos, and its legacy will continue with the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope in 2021, which is expected to build on the HST’s discoveries and open up new avenues of discovery.
The First Servicing Mission
To fix the problem, NASA organized a series of servicing missions, during which astronauts visited the telescope and made repairs and upgrades. The first servicing mission took place in December 1993, and it was a resounding success. The astronauts were able to install a new camera, a new spectrograph, and a corrective optics package that fixed the problem with the primary mirror.
Subsequent Servicing Missions
Since the first servicing mission, there have been four additional servicing missions, the most recent of which took place in 2009. During these missions, astronauts have installed new scientific instruments, replaced old ones, and made repairs to various components of the telescope. Each servicing mission has extended the life of the telescope and allowed it to continue making groundbreaking discoveries.
The Legacy of the HST
The HST has had a profound impact on our understanding of the universe. It has allowed us to see farther and more clearly than ever before, and it has revealed some of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring objects in the cosmos. Some of the HST’s most significant discoveries include:
One key takeaway from the text is the significant impact that the Hubble Space Telescope has had on our understanding of the universe. Through its various scientific instruments and groundbreaking discoveries, such as evidence for the existence of dark energy and detection of exoplanets, the HST has facilitated major advancements in the field of astronomy. While the HST is nearing the end of its life, NASA’s upcoming launch of the James Webb Space Telescope is expected to build on its legacy and further deepen our understanding of the cosmos.
The Hubble Deep Field
In 1995, the HST captured an image of a small patch of sky that appeared to be empty. However, upon closer inspection, astronomers realized that the image contained thousands of galaxies, some of which were more than 12 billion light-years away. This image, known as the Hubble Deep Field, provided the first direct evidence of the universe’s large-scale structure and helped to refine our understanding of the age and size of the universe.
The Pillars of Creation
In 1995, the HST captured an image of a star-forming region in the Eagle Nebula, which became known as the Pillars of Creation. The image showed towering columns of gas and dust, which were being sculpted by the light and winds of nearby stars. The Pillars of Creation quickly became one of the most iconic images in astronomy, and they continue to inspire scientists and the general public alike.
Dark Energy and the Accelerating Universe
One of the HST’s most significant discoveries was the realization that the universe is not only expanding but also accelerating. This finding was made possible by the HST’s ability to observe distant supernovae, which provided evidence for the existence of dark energy, a mysterious force that is causing the expansion of the universe to speed up.
The HST has played a significant role in the study of exoplanets, which are planets that orbit stars other than the Sun. By observing the light from distant stars, the HST has been able to detect the presence of exoplanets and study their properties, such as their size, mass, and composition. These observations have helped to reveal the diversity of planets in the universe and have provided insights into the conditions necessary for life to exist.
The Future of the HST
The HST is now over 30 years old, and while it is still producing groundbreaking science, it is nearing the end of its life. NASA is planning to launch a successor to the HST, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), in 2021. The JWST will have a primary mirror that is more than twice the size of the HST’s, which will allow it to observe even fainter and more distant objects. The JWST is expected to build on the HST’s legacy and open up new avenues of discovery in the field of astronomy.
FAQs for Hubble Space Telescope Quizlet
What is the Hubble Space Telescope?
The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is a space-based observatory orbiting Earth that captures clear and detailed images of celestial objects and phenomena in the universe. It was launched by NASA in 1990 and is named after the astronomer Edwin Hubble.
What are some of the achievements of the HST?
Since its launch, the HST has provided the world with groundbreaking images and data about the universe. Some of its significant achievements include capturing detailed images of galaxies, stars, and planets, and discovering new objects and phenomena in space. It has also helped to confirm the existence of dark energy and dark matter, provided insights into the formation and evolution of the universe, and helped astronomers better understand the origins of our solar system.
The HST works by gathering light from distant objects in space through its primary mirror, which has a diameter of 2.4 meters. This light is then focused through a series of lenses and mirrors before being captured by its instruments, which include cameras and spectrographs. The HST’s position in space also enables it to capture clear images by avoiding atmospheric interference.
What are some of the instruments on the HST?
The HST is equipped with several scientific instruments that enable it to capture and analyze data about the universe. These include the Wide Field Camera 3, the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph, and the Advanced Camera for Surveys. Each instrument serves a different purpose and has unique capabilities that enable it to capture different types of data.
Who controls the HST?
The HST is controlled by the Space Telescope Operations Control Center, which is located at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, USA. The control center is staffed by a team of scientists and engineers who remotely operate the telescope and manage its scientific operations.
Can anyone access HST data?
Yes, anyone can access the data collected by the HST through the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST). MAST is a publicly accessible database that houses all of the data collected by the HST, as well as data from other space-based telescopes. Users can search and download data sets for their own research or analysis.