When we talk about explorers great names such as Vasco da Gama, Christopher Columbus, and Juan Ponce de León comes to our mind but for me the greatest explorer world has ever produced is Hubble Space Telescope. Today is the Silver Jubilee of Hubble’s launch and all Astrofreaks like me are very excited about it. It all started in 1946, when astronomer Lyman Spitzer’s launched a paper to discuss the advantages of having space-based observatory. Hubble is not the first space telescope but it is one of a kind, Hubble is huge and versatile and playing a vital role in exploring this amazing universe.
HST was launched into the lower orbit in 1990 and is in operation since then. HST is named after astronomer Edwin Hubble. HST was built by the United States space agency NASA, with contributions from the European Space Agency, and is operated by the Space Telescope Science Institute. Hubble is now out or Earth’s Orbit which allow it to take extremely high-resolution images without distortion. Some of Hubble’s images are extremely detailed and allows scientist to identify the expansion rate of our universe.
Well operation didn’t go well initially, they discovered a major flow in the design of primary mirror after they received first set of images. Hubble initially failed to achieve the desired focus in sharpness and scientist took too much heat from the critics about it. But in 1993 Scientist start working on the Kodak’s ground mirror backup of HST to identify the problem and they managed resolved some focus issues by using COSTAR System.
Hubble was launched in 1990’s so initially HST was storing data in old fashioned reel based system but later on it is replaced by solid storage. HST downlinks approximately 120 gigabytes of data every week and all Hubble data is available for principal investigators. Hubble images are monochromic but have multiple camera filters, later on ground control combine multiple images of different filters and then produced colour images based on their assumptions. One great thing about HST is that it is publically available for everyone but you must need a strong proposal before applying.
In The End, I like to congratulate all the people who are behind this amazing telescope. Keep doing your great work and explore different galaxies and nebulas, and keep us up to date.