The Hubble Space Telescope has allowed scientists and the rest of the world a look into outer space that was not even imagined one hundred years ago. In fact, it is only in the last one hundred years that it was discovered that there are millions of galaxies beyond ours and that the universe is constantly expanding. Since its launch in 1990 this telescope has been an invaluable source of information to astronomers and scientists throughout the world. As the Hubble Space Telescope orbits its way around the earth once every 95 minutes, it continues to gather more knowledge about not only our galaxy but the ones beyond as well.
A timeline of Hubble Space Telescope History:
1924–Edwin Hubble looked up into the night sky to disprove the theory of a single galaxy. He proved that rather than just gasses and dust, the universe was filled with other galaxies. He was the first to prove that our universe was continuing to grow and expand. However, he did not have the benefit of the tools we have available today, so his knowledge was still somewhat limited although his vision was far-reaching.
1924-1983–the concept of a Large Space Telescope (LST) was conceived, designed, revised and developed and implemented. In 1985, the LST was renamed the Hubble Space Telescope, to honor the man who started it all.
1990–After delays with its launch due to conflicts with the launch of the space shuttle, the Hubble Space Telescope was sent into orbit.
1994–the telescope took pictures of a comet collision, and detailed photos of Pluto, as well as giving us a greater knowledge of Neptune and Uranus.
1995–the Hubble took pictures of the “birth” of a star as it developed from interstellar clouds.
1996–Photos from the Hubble Space Telescope show that quasars are actually nuclei which illuminate when a black hole uses energies from surrounding gases and stars.
1997–The Hubble takes pictures which prove that black holes are bigger than the sun.
1998–The most detailed pictures of the planets in our solar system are taken.
2004–The Hubble Space Telescope was able to document in pictures how, when, and why stars die and using the Hubble Ultra Deep Field technology, to take pictures of the expanding universe unlike any that had previously been taken. It also took pictures of Mars when it was closer to Earth than it had been in 60,000 years.
2005–Took pictures of a comet with a projected piece of equipment from the Hubble Space Telescope.
Future Developments–The Hubble Space Telescope’s mission is scheduled to end with this decade. Astronauts will go up, make repairs and assess the future usefulness of this tool in deep space discovery and a decision will be made about whether it should be discontinued or remain in service. But, no matter what decision is made, this telescope has been an amazing resource for a broader understanding of space and its limitless possibilities. Thank you, Mr. Hubble.