Hubble Space Telescope

Hubble Space Telescope

The forty-three and a half foot long, twelve ton, one and a half billion dollar Hubble Space Telescope was launched into orbit on April 24,1990 (Macchetto, p. 125). The Hubble Space Telescope or HST has been the best way to look far into the universe ever since then. Ground-based telescopes will never be able to see clearly into the universe, because the atmospheric turbulence scatters light (NASA, p. 6).
When the Hubble Space Telescope was launched it was poised to open a new era in astronomy. Within a few months, however, a flaw was discovered in Hubbles main mirror that significantly reduced the telescopes ability to focus. Program and project officials developed a plan to take advantage of the Telescopes instruments that were not affected by the flaw, such as, ultraviolet and spectrographic observations. Eventually it was found that the problem could be resolved by using the effect of computer processing to remove spherical aberrations (NASA, p. 5).
By using computer processing, the HST was still able to perform two of its three capabilities, including high angular resolution and ultraviolet performance. It did not have the capability of high sensitivity to detect very faint

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