Technology 30 years of "Hubble": With "glasses" on a journey...

30 years of “Hubble”: With “glasses” on a journey through time through the universe

“Hubble” has been delivering impressive images from the vastness of space for years. The telescope is now 30 years old.

The “birthday boy” looks like a cannon tube, is a good 13 meters long and has been racing around the world for 30 years now – at 28,000 kilometers per hour. Since its launch on April 24, 1990, the “Hubble” space telescope has revolutionized astronomy with breathtaking images from space and has earned the reputation of the most successful scientific instrument of our time. The «First Light», the first shot of the telephoto head, took place less than a month later on May 20, 1990.

His recordings, which also gave laypersons a completely unexpected view of the universe, have long been part of the cultural heritage of mankind. Astronomers attest to the space scout that he permanently changed people’s view of space and our place in the universe.

Three decades ago, Hubble was launched into orbit around the world by the US space shuttle Discovery. Up there, around 560 kilometers above Earth and thus in a slightly higher orbit than the International Space Station, “Hubble” looks into the depths of space – far away from the restless atmosphere.

Breakdown at the main mirror

However, the history of the space telescope was not glitch-free. Because “Hubble” had an embarrassing birth defect: after the launch of the instrument developed jointly by the US space agency NASA and the European Space Agency ESA, it quickly became apparent that its main mirror with a diameter of 2.40 meters was not ground correctly.

The result was blurry images. The bug was fixed in 1993 by a space shuttle mission. “Hubble” was given correction optics – the “telescope” was able to see clearly from now on. A Swiss man made a name for himself: astronaut Claude Nicollier operated the robot arm with which the correction optics were used.

Since then, “Hubble” has not only provided fascinating images of the planets in our solar system, the space eye has ushered in a new era in the observation of distant and distant galaxies: “Hubble” has found islands of stars whose light for the journey to Earth is more than 13.4 Takes billions of years. The space telescope was thus able to take a look at the early days of the universe.

Fundamental Findings

Hubble data also contributed to confirming the theory that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate. The telescope, named after the American astronomer Edwin Hubble (1889 to 1953), also provided evidence that the formation of planets occurs frequently with stars outside our solar system. These and other findings have been published in thousands of studies based on “Hubble” data.

The spectacular “Hubble” images of planetary nebulae that form when sun-like stars die are known to a broad public. The images of the space telescope of supernova explosions and of gas and dust nebulae in which new stars are created are also legendary.

One of these pictures shows columnar structures in the so-called Eagle Nebula – it became world famous under the name “Pillars of Creation”. To mark the 30th anniversary, scientists now want to publish a new, spectacular image of the space telescope on Friday.

Pictures of the day

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