Only four centuries back, humanity didn’t know how else to look at the heavens but with the naked eye. But soon as mighty Galileo came along, he figured out there might be some better way to inspect the wondrous Universe: he invented the telescope.
Since then, human kind could discover and observe the vast outer space with its many and fascinating celestial bodies. Soon, we learned how many planets make up our solar system and how many of them have moons just like our very own planet. We were then astounded by Saturn rings and eventually completed the map of the Milky Way Galaxy.
All of a sudden, myriads of stars and planets became visible for Earth’s population, and the telescope, the one making it all possible, did nothing but improve with time. Its power and size only grew, making it more sophisticated and precise.
Amateur stargazers use telescopes to witness the amazing spectacles happening above their heads; same instrument helps scientists unlock heavenly mysteries and discover countless enigmas.
In the 1920s, astronomer Edwin Hubble used the largest telescope at the Mt. Wilson Observatory, California. He was fascinated by his search of galaxies, planets and stars within our Solar System. In his honor, the Hubble Space Telescope was named after him; later on, in April 24, 1990, it was launched with the space shuttle Discovery from Kennedy Space Station.
That event marked the beginning of humanity’s ability to observe the intricacy and the beauty of the universe. Annually, more than 10-Terabyte of new data is being sent through the bus-sized, 24,500-pound Hubble Telescope. Since its launch in 1990, the powerful telescope has already achieved the one-millionth-observation, and surpassed that milestone.
The prolific Hubble Telescope has made possible for many astronomers to publish over 12,700 scientific papers, based on the data it sent – making it one of the most progressive scientific instruments ever created by man.
In its fairly short existence, the Hubble managed to make more than 3 billion miles in its rotation around Earth along the low orbit. It covers an impressive 17,500 miles each hour and never stops. The Hubble, however, was not created to visit other planets, stars and galaxies; it is just a very large, very specialized photographer of the Universe.
This year, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope turns 25 years of science, and the agency decided to commemorate it in April with various events open to the American public. The “Hubble 3D” movie will also be screened in limited theaters across the country till the end of the month.
Image Source: Hubble25.org