Hubble Space Telescope
Most of you have heard about the Hubble Space Telescope. The Hubble was launched in 1990, and you may recall that there were troubles from the very beginning. The images were blurry. A flaw in a mirror became a public relations nightmare for NASA. To correct the problem the Space Shuttle Endeavor made a trip to the spacecraft in 1993. When NASA released the first new images in 1994 the resolution was excellent. Mission accomplished! What started out as boondoggle has turned into a data collecting bonanza.
The Hubble Space Telescope has been orbiting the earth for 19 years now, gathering data and taking pictures of outer space. It is cruising around up there making a trip around the earth every 97 minutes and sending back data to NASA at the rate of 120 gigabytes a week.
All this information, of course, means our understanding of outer space is not just leaps and bounds better than it was back in 1990, it is light years better. According to the Hubble website, over 6000 scientific papers have resulted from data collected by the spacecraft. It has enabled scientists to better understand galaxies, nebulae, stars, planets, gamma ray burst and even the age of the universe itself.
The Hubble has been serviced and repaired several times over the years, and new imaging technology was added. The most recent servicing and upgrading mission occurred this last May, and one of the upgrades was a new camera that is 10-30 times more sensitive than the old one. NASA has now begun to release these new images to the public, and you really should take a look at some of these images. They will boggle your mind.
So your mission, should you accept it is to visit the Hubble Space Telescopes website. You can do this by going to “hubblesite.org.” No www. You can also access it through NASA’s website. Look for “Hubble” under “Missions.”
One of the new images in the news is of the Bug Nebula which is about 4000 light years away. Looking at the image you can’t help but think of that quote “to reach out and touch the hand of God.”
I need to finish this so I can take another look at those pictures!
Beam me up Scotty!
Natural North Dakota is supported by NDSU Central Grasslands Research Extension Center and Dakota College at Bottineau, and by the members of Prairie Public. Thanks to Sunny 101.9 in Bottineau for their recording services.
Listen To Radio Online
Log-on and dig deep into the news of the day. It’s all online in our Public NewsRoom.» Visit the Public NewsRoom
Your contributions make quality radio programming possible.» Pledge your support today.