Facts about the Hubble Telescope

The amazing Hubble Telescope is a crowning achievement in scientific advancement and has captured some of the most incredibly awe-inspiring images of the cosmos that people have ever laid eyes on. It is the first space optical telescope.

The great Hubble Telescope was named after Edwin Hubble, an American astronomer who confirmed the theory that the universe is continually expanding, which laid the necessary groundwork for the proposal of the infamous big bang theory.

The cost of the initial launch of the phenomenal Hubble Telescope was $1.5 billion dollars and the first pictures were taken on May20th 1990. The first images from the telescope were released to the public in August 1990 and were actually digital photos that had been hand-colored. Its first mission took place in late April of 1990 from the Discovery shuttle. There were many other missions to follow such as in December of 1993, February of 1997, December of 1999 and finally February of 2002.

The powerful Hubble Telescope boasts an impressive 43.5 feet length and weighs 24,500lbs. It is tantamount to about the size of a bus and yet still manages to fit within the cargo bay of a space shuttle. There are two mirrors affixed to the telescope.

The primary mirror has a diameter of 94.5 inches and weighs 1,825lbs; while the secondary mirror has a diameter of 12 inches and weighs 27.4lbs. It is considerably smaller then the primary mirror. Both mirrors were constructed in such a way that they will not deviate from a perfect curve by greater then 1/800,000ths of an inch.

The Telescope is also affixed with two 25-foot solar-panels and its main power source is the Sun and it has a 2800 watt power usage which is the equivalent of the energy obtained from 28 100 watt light bulbs. It is also powered by 6 nickel-hydrogen batteries and has a storage capacity tantamount to that of 20 car batteries.

The Telescope moves around the Earth at amazing speeds of 5 miles per second. It has an orbital range of 353 miles altitude and 28.5 degrees inclined. The telescope takes 97 minutes to complete one orbital cycle and moves at a speed in excessive of seventeen thousand miles per hour.

The telescope does have a few limitations however it cannot observe Mercury or the Sun and as it possesses a sensitivity to light. The celestial body that the Telescope observes the most is the planet Earth. It does this to ensure that it is properly calibrated particularly the charge-coupled detectors. It is capable of transmitting 120 gigabytes of scientific data every week which is the equivalent of 3,600 feet. The vast array of images it captures is then saved onto magneto-optical discs for future record.

It has a rather astounding level of accuracy to ensure detailed images can be taken of far off and vague celestial objects. The telescope is able to steadily center on a target object without deviating more then 7/1000th of an arc second which is about the width of a single human hair viewed at a one mile distance. The aiming power of the Hubble is similar to a laser beam continuously being held on something the size of a nickel that is more than 200 miles in distance.

The Telescope is worth $10 billion dollars and has a prestigious golden anchor.It also has a multitude of special tools that were created simply ensure that it keeps working properly. The original camera was not able to take quality photos and was replaced in 93 by a built in corrective optic imager. The original camera is now proudly displayed at the Smithsonian. 

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