What Is the Hubble Telescope?


Quick Answer

The Hubble Space Telescope is a school bus-sized telescope that orbits around the Earth and takes pictures of various objects and events in space, such as stars dying and comets crashing into Jupiter. NASA launched the telescope in 1990, and it travels 343 miles above Earth's surface at a speed of 5 miles per second.

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Full Answer

The Hubble telescope takes clearer pictures of space than telescopes on Earth because there is no distortion or blockage of light in the atmosphere. The Hubble telescope contains a series of mirrors that catch the light emitted from celestial objects, such as stars, planets and galaxies, and capture an image of it using a digital camera. Using radio waves, the telescope forwards the pictures to NASA on Earth.

The Hubble telescope provides information on the universe, helping scientists discover its approximate age and size. It has also helped scientists discover more about black holes and dark energy. Its images and data collection instruments have provided information on how massive stars collapse. The instruments on the Hubble telescope include a cosmic origins spectrograph, which reads ultraviolet light, a multi-object spectrometer, which senses heat emitted by objects, and the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph, which has helped detect black holes. The Hubble telescope has seen further into space than any other telescope.

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