Science

Hubble reaches another major milestone: ONE BILLION seconds in space 

Hubble reached another major milestone this month, as NASA revealed that its iconic 31-year-old telescope has spent a billion seconds in space.

The space telescope was deployed from the cargo bay of the Space Shuttle Discovery on April 25, 1990, 340 miles above the Earth’s surface.

On January 1, 2022, Hubble celebrated its second billionth of operations, in which time it produced some of the most iconic astrophotographs ever.

In addition to the exciting images, Hubble made groundbreaking scientific discoveries, including determining the age of the universe to 13.8 billion years.

In its first billion seconds, Hubble witnessed five missions to serve astronauts to replace and repair components, and more than 1.5 million scientific observations.

The space telescope was deployed from the cargo bay of the Space Shuttle Discovery on April 25, 1990, sitting 340 miles above the Earth’s surface.

On January 1, 2022, Hubble celebrated its second billionth of operations, in which time it produced some of the most iconic astrophotographs ever.

On January 1, 2022, Hubble celebrated its second billionth of operations, in which time it produced some of the most iconic astrophotographs ever.

Hubble Active Tools

Advanced Camera Scan (ACS)

Retrieved November 7th

Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3)

Retrieved November 21

Cosmic Origins Spectrometer (COS)

Retrieved November 28

Space Telescope Imaging Spectrometer (STIS)

Retrieved December 6th

“We can only imagine the discoveries that will come in the next billion seconds,” wrote NASA to celebrate this milestone.

The Hubble telescope is expected to continue operating for several more years, despite a number of recent concerns, which have led to the disruption of all or part of the observatory.

NASA wrote that it can only visualize what the next generation of space observatories, including the recent James Webb launch, will reveal.

“[The] The James Webb Space Telescope and the future Nancy Grace Space Telescope will work on Hubble’s discoveries and will work with Hubble to expand our understanding of the universe.

Hubble was a joint project of NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), which saw regular visits from astronauts between 1993 and 2009.

Observations with the telescope have led to thousands of scientific papers, including new discoveries about the origins of the universe.

Other discoveries include the expansion rate of the universe, the discovery of a fifth moon around Pluto, and the discovery of supermassive black holes at the core of most major galaxies.

It orbits Earth at about 17,000 miles per hour (27,300 kilometers per hour) in low Earth orbit at an altitude of about 340 miles, slightly higher than the International Space Station (ISS).

The telescope is named after the famous astronomer Edwin Hubble who was born in Missouri in 1889 and discovered that the universe is expanding, as well as its rate of expansion.

Hubble recently celebrated its 31st anniversary in space, and it did so with an image of a giant star “on the brink of destruction.”

It cost $4.7 billion (£3.4 billion) to build and contains a 7-foot-10-inch mirror that can detect ultraviolet, visible and near-infrared rays.

Hubble images of a giant star, called AG Carinae, waging a tug-of-war between gravity and radiation to avoid self-destruction

Hubble images of a giant star, called AG Carinae, waging a tug-of-war between gravity and radiation to avoid self-destruction

Hubble was a joint project of NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), and saw regular visits from astronauts between 1993 and 2009.

Hubble was a joint project of NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), and saw regular visits from astronauts between 1993 and 2009.

The main discoveries made using HUBBLE

The Hubble Space Telescope was launched to low Earth orbit in 1990 and has been used to change our understanding of the universe.

  • Images of debris left by Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 have been captured after hitting Jupiter.
  • Hubble provided the first definitive evidence of supermassive black holes in the centers of galaxies after observing M87.
  • Measure the elements within the atmospheres of exoplanets, giving insight into worlds outside our solar system.
  • Hubble observations revealed that the dwarf planet Eris is actually larger than Pluto, a year after it was demoted to a dwarf planet.
  • Images of distant galaxies were taken when the universe was less than a tenth of its current age.
  • Help expand our understanding of how planets form through observations of protoplanetary disks in distant systems.

Its first observations were of Jupiter in March 1991, a topic to which it returns regularly, including tracking the Great Red Spot.

Hubble also provided the first conclusive evidence of supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies after observing M87 in 1993.

Other major discoveries included the Pillars of Creation, one of the most famous images in astronomy, taken in 1995 showing the violent tendrils of gas and dust in a stellar nursery.

Hubble’s Basic Mirror is 2.4 meters (7 feet, 10.5 inches) wide and has a total length of 13.3 meters (43.5 feet) — the length of a large school bus.

The Hubble telescope has been described as the most important telescope since the first telescope Galileo used to view Jupiter’s moons and would be a “huge loss” for astronomy if it stopped working.

Hubble was one of the most successful spaceflights ever launched, said Avelia Wibisono, of the University of California, Los Angeles’ Space Science Laboratory.

“He revolutionized our understanding of the universe – from discovering new moons around Pluto, to taking the first visible image of a planet orbiting a star other than the Sun,” said the doctoral student.

We’ve also helped create a 3D map of dark matter, discovering that every galaxy has a black hole at its core.

Hubble made astronomers rewrite textbooks. “Without the Hubble Space Telescope, it would be even more difficult for me to do my job studying Jupiter’s northern and southern lights,” Wibisono added.

Jupiter has also been the subject of Hubble's study, including observations of the Great Red Spot

Jupiter has also been the subject of Hubble’s study, including observations of the Great Red Spot

The Hubble telescope has been described as the most important telescope since the first telescope used by Galileo to view Jupiter's moons and will be

The Hubble telescope has been described as the most important telescope since the first telescope Galileo used to view Jupiter’s moons and would be a “great loss” to astronomy if it were to stop working.

Hubble has a guidance accuracy of 0.007 arcseconds, which is similar to being able to shine a laser beam focusing the Queen’s head on a coin 200 miles (320 km) away.

Boris Jensek, a professor at the University of Warwick, said the Hubble was one of the most important tools astronomers have ever used.

It contains a set of instruments, so you can think of it as a toolbox, and astronomers continue to develop better ways to use the instruments in this box, for example, to study the composition of the atmospheres of planets hundreds of light years away.

“We didn’t even know these planets existed when Hubble was built, so this is a good example that a 30-year-old facility remains at the cutting edge of astronomy.”

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope is still operational and has made more than 1.5 million observations since its mission began in 1990.

The Hubble Telescope was launched on April 24, 1990, via the space shuttle Discovery from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

It is named after the famous astronomer Edwin Hubble, who was born in Missouri in 1889.

He is arguably most famous for his discovery that the universe is expanding and the rate at which it occurs – he has now coined the Hubble constant.

The Hubble Telescope is named after the famous astronomer Edwin Hubble who was born in Missouri in 1889 (pictured)

The Hubble Telescope is named after the famous astronomer Edwin Hubble who was born in Missouri in 1889 (pictured)

Hubble has made more than 1.5 million observations since its mission began in 1990 and has helped publish about 18,000 scientific papers.

It orbits the Earth at about 17,000 miles per hour (27,300 kilometers per hour) in low Earth orbit at an altitude of about 340 miles.

Hubble has a guidance accuracy of 0.007 arcseconds, which is similar to being able to shine a laser beam focused on Franklin D. Roosevelt’s head at a coin about 200 miles (320 km) away.

The Hubble Telescope is named after Edwin Hubble who was responsible for inventing the Hubble constant and is one of the greatest astronomers of all time.

The Hubble Telescope is named after Edwin Hubble who was responsible for inventing the Hubble constant and is one of the greatest astronomers of all time.

Hubble’s Basic Mirror is 2.4 meters (7 feet, 10.5 inches) wide and has a total length of 13.3 meters (43.5 feet) — the length of a large school bus.

Hubble’s launch and publication in April 1990 marked the most significant advance in astronomy since the Galileo telescope.

With five service missions and more than 25 years in operation, our view of the universe and our place in it has never been the same.

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