Why in the news?
- Recently, the safe mode was activated in the Hubble telescope after an onboard computer halt, leading to all non-essential systems being shut down – essentially meaning the telescope is not being used for astronomy observations for time being.
- The Hubble was put in safe mode after a problem appeared with its payload computer, which controls and coordinates the science instruments onboard the observatory.
Why is the Hubble telescope famous?
- Named after the astronomer Edwin Hubble, the observatory is the first major optical telescope to be placed in space and has made groundbreaking discoveries in the field of astronomy since its launch.
- The launch and deployment of Hubble in April 1990 is said to be the “most significant advance in astronomy since Galileo’s telescope.”
HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE
- It is larger than a school bus in size, has a 7.9 feet mirror, and captures images of deep space playing a major role in helping astronomers understand the universe by observing the most distant stars, galaxies and planets.
- Telescopes have a particular range of light that they can detect. Hubble’s domain extends from the ultraviolet through the visible (which our eyes see) and into the near-infrared.
- This range has allowed Hubble to deliver stunning images of stars, galaxies, and other astronomical objects that have inspired people around the world and changed our understanding of the universe.
- The telescope has tracked interstellar objects as they soared through our solar system, watched a comet collide with Jupiter, and discovered moons around Pluto.
- Hubble has peered back into our universe’s distant past, to locations more than 13.4 billion light-years from Earth, capturing galaxies merging, probing the supermassive black holes that lurk in their depths, and helping us better understand the history of the expanding universe.