Posts Tagged ‘hst’

Hubble Repaired and Improved (Video)

July 26, 2009

Recently Hubble Space Telescope was repaired and upgraded with a new equipment. I stubled across this cool video from Hubble Cast. I am so glad that they take time to create such beautiful educational videos for mortal people like me to learn about what’s going on up there. It’s pretty short, just 6 minutes, but in high quality and has a lot of space footage and Hubble pictures.

Hubble got some repairs and a new improved camera. Camera is not fully calibrated yet, testing and preparations are under way currently and it is expected to be fully operational in September. RecentĀ Jupiter impact photo was taken with this camera even when it was not fully ready yet. Hubble is truly one of the most successful space projects and one of my favourites, because of all the colorful pictures we got thanks to it.

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Compare Supernova Pictures

July 23, 2009

Some people may wonder, why do we bother with X-Ray observatories and infrared observatories. We can not see those electromagnetic waves with our eyes, what’s the point to shoot pictures in them, we have to use fake colors to view such pictures. Below are the two photos for you to compare. First one is taken by Hubble, second one is combination of Hubble photo and X-Ray photo taken by Chandra.

1E0102 Supernova pictured by Hubble Space Telescope in visible light. Image credit: HST

1E0102 Supernova pictured by Hubble Space Telescope in visible light. Click for bigger version. Image credit: HST

Same supernova composite Chandra and Hubble picture. Thanks to X-Ray we can see much more details. Click for slightly bigger version. Image credit: NASA

Same supernova composite Chandra and Hubble picture. Thanks to X-Ray we can see much more details. Click for slightly bigger version. Image credit: NASA

The truth is, in nature there is no actual difference between visible light and X-Ray or infrared or radio waves. It is all the same phenomenon, it’s just happened the way that we see visible light with our eyes, so it makes visible light kind of special for us, humans. Do you want to know why we see exactly visible light? Wait for my next post.

How Hubble Trouble Was Solved

June 30, 2009

Currently Hubble Space Telescope is known as one of the most successful space projects ever. Everyone is familiar with the best pictures it brought to us. But not everyone remembers that Hubble mission started as a disaster, because main telescope mirror appeared to be defective, first images were fuzzy, way worse than expected. That’s when “Hubble trouble” expression was born (thank you, media guys, we love you! :-)

Shortly after the launch scientists dicovered, that the main mirror could not focus light properly, it had so called spherical aberration. Good thing they didn’t give up on it (of course they didn’t, it was too expensive to give up ;-) and created a funny workaround — they replaced original camera with a new one. New camera was constructed on purpose with a special defect. It was a precisely engineered defect to exactly compensate Hubble’s mirror problem. Two combined defects appeared to give an extremely sharp image — the quality which was expected from Hubble in the beginning. About 15 years already Hubble is taking pictures with a defective mirror and camera :-)