It’s fair to say that most of us are fascinated with space – and not the kind we wish for when we’re on a crowded subway carriage. Considering we’re quite literally suspended in the universe right now, it’s probably a good thing we’re all interested in space and what lies beyond our atmosphere because whatever or whoever is out there are our neighbors! Although space exploration is changing and progressing every single day, one of the most famous telescopes of all time is the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Here is everything you need to know about this incredible piece of equipment.
It’s named after a famous astronomer
Engineers and scientists just love to name their new additions after famous scientists – and the Hubble Space Telescope is no different. In fact, this epic telescope is named after one of the most talented astronomers of all time, Edwin Hubble! This astronomer was at the height of his career in the early 1900s and did the scientific equivalent of breaking the internet in the 1920s when he was the first to suggest that the universe was constantly expanding.
It’s pretty darn old
Yep, considering scientists and space engineers are currently working with the latest and greatest materials to make their space equipment as high tech as possible, the Hubble Telescope is actually pretty darn old. The telescope was first sent into orbit in 1990 and has been up there ever since. The telescope is still in use today and normally floats at around 350-miles above Earth.
It’s rocked up some impressive stats
On its 25th birthday, Nasa released stats about their beloved Hubble Telescope and wowed us all with the work it’s been doing up there in space. Over the course of 25 years, Hubble traveled a whopping 3.4 billion miles and had managed to orbit the Earth a mammoth 137,000 times. As if that wasn’t cool enough, it had made over 1.2 million observations that clocked up over 38,000 celestial objects. From this, more than 12,000 scientific papers have used the information Hubble has collected. Considering that was a few years ago, we can imagine those stats have just increased.
It’s provided us with never-before-seen photographs
If you have a space scene as your screensaver right now, there’s a high chance that it was ol’ Hubble who took the photograph. This is because the Hubble Telescope has provided us with never-before-seen photographs of space. It’s also been able to photograph the deepest and darkest corners of the universe, which scientists had yet to see. So you could say it’s kind of a big deal.
It’s powered by solar energy
Considering the Hubble Telescope is a lot closer to the sun than we are and doesn’t have cloud to contend with, it makes sense that it uses solar energy to power it. However, that doesn’t mean it uses a lot! In fact, the Hubble uses just 2800 Watts to run – which is just a little bit more than the energy needed to boil a kettle. This energy allows the telescope to speed at around 28,000km/h. Wow.
It’s just made an epic discovery
In April 2018, the Hubble Telescope was once again frontpage news, after this awesome telescope used its gravitational lensing to spot the furthest star on record. It’s believed that the light of this star (which has since been called Icarus) has taken around 9 billion years to reach us. Despite its old age, Hubble is still one of the most versatile telescopes within NASA’s arsenal, which makes discoveries like this possible.
If you’re looking to soothe your itch to learn even more about space, these facts about the Hubble Telescope will hopefully tickle your fancy.