As Horizon fly’s pass Pluto poor old Hubble is left in the dark.
Launched aboard the shuttle Discovery 25 years ago on the April 24, it had its vision restored in December 1993.
Orbiting the Earth for over two decades, Hubble has helped to answer some of the most compelling astronomical questions of our time – and uncovered mysteries we never knew existed. Investigating everything from black holes to planets around other stars, Hubble has changed the face of astronomy, ushering in a new chapter of humanity’s exploration of the universe.
So in honor of Hubble – The beady eye of Space- here is what it has achieved
Over 100 Terabytes of observations all captured in digital files.
Astronomers have used all those observations to generate over 12,800 scientific papers, making the Hubble one of the most productive scientific instruments ever designed and built.
There are no rockets or thrusters on board the Hubble. To change directions, it spins reaction wheels that, thanks to Newton’s Third Law of Motion, make the telescope spin in the opposite direction. The wheels spin at about the speed of a clock’s minute hand, turning 90 degrees in 15 minutes.
Hubble operates on only 2,800 W, a little more than an electric range’s largest burner on high.
The telescope gets all its electricity from a pair of solar panels that measure approximately 23 х 9 ft (each).
Engineers gave Hubble a pointing accuracy of 0.007 arc seconds, which is analogous to aiming a laser and hitting a dime 200 miles away.
The most distant objects Hubble has seen are 13.4 billion light years.
The Hubble takes only black-and-white images. The spectacular color images you see from the Hubble are made by combining two or more black-and-white exposures through colored filters. Then, when the image is further processed, colors matching the filters are added.
Hubble helped construct the largest scale 3-D maps scientists have of where dark matter is distributed in the universe.
Also, by helping to find out the mass of Eris, which is 27 percent more massive than Pluto, the realization that similar bodies might lurk in the Kuiper Belt and beyond it helped demote Pluto and similar objects to dwarf planet status.
By gazing at star-forming regions such as the Orion Nebula, Hubble was able to show that protoplanetary disks of gas and dust are ubiquitous around many young stars.
Gamma ray bursts. Hubble helped discover these bursts typically occur in galaxies that were actively forming stars and were low in metallicity.
The comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 collided spectacularly with Jupiter in 1994, an impact Hubble captured in all its startling glory.
Hubble may have helped solve the mystery of how old the universe is, but it unexpectedly turned up an even more profound one — the fact that the rate of the universe’s expansion is not slowing down or even constant, but is inexplicably accelerating.
Hubble discovered that super-massive black holes probably lurk in every galaxy that has a bulge of stars at its center.
Hubble has made some important advances in our research into alien worlds, such as determining the composition of the atmosphere of an exoplanet for the first time and actually imaging the visible light of Fomalhaut b.
Hubble helped refine estimates of the universe’s age down to roughly 13.75 billion years, a result that not only plays a role in modeling how our universe has evolved over time, but also in our understanding other seemingly unrelated cosmic parameters, such as the mass of neutrinos.
It’s re-written a lot of what we know. Re-engineer humans for a better planet.