The Hubble Space Telescope is a space telescope that was launched into low Earth orbit in 1990 and remains in operation to this day. It was named after American astronomer Edwin Hubble, who is best known for his discovery that the universe is expanding.
The Hubble Space Telescope has made many significant scientific contributions since its launch, including providing the first direct evidence for the existence of dark matter, helping to refine the estimated age of the universe, and allowing astronomers to study distant objects in unprecedented detail. It has also provided stunning images of celestial objects, such as galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters, that have captivated the public and inspired a new generation of scientists and space enthusiasts.
One of the key features of the Hubble Space Telescope is its ability to observe the universe in visible, ultraviolet, and infrared light. This allows it to study a wide range of celestial phenomena, from the birth and death of stars to the formation of planetary systems. It has also been used to study the atmospheres of planets in our own solar system and to search for evidence of extraterrestrial life.
The Hubble Space Telescope has not been without its challenges, however. Shortly after its launch, it was discovered that the primary mirror had been ground to the wrong shape, causing a flaw known as spherical aberration. This flaw was eventually corrected through a series of spacewalks by astronauts who installed corrective optics on the telescope.
Despite these early setbacks, the Hubble Space Telescope has proven to be an invaluable tool for advancing our understanding of the universe. It has provided a wealth of data and imagery that have helped to shape our understanding of the cosmos and our place in it.