Friday, July 12, 2024

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    How Far Can the Hubble Telescope See?

    The Hubble Space Telescope is an amazing piece of engineering. It can see objects that are billions of light-years away. Light travels at a speed of 186,000 miles per second, which is approximately seven times the speed of sound. However, this telescope has limitations. Those limits include the size of its mirror, the quality of its instruments, wavelength range, and time. Despite these limitations, Hubble has released some of the most beautiful images humans have ever seen.

    Hubble’s telescope has five main instruments to observe light in the visible, near-infrared, and ultraviolet spectrum. Its orbit helps it capture images that are deep and full of detail with low background light. These observations have been instrumental in advancing astrophysics. It has been used to study the Sun, the moon, and many other celestial objects.

    The Hubble Space Telescope orbits the Earth at an altitude of 550 kilometers. It completes one orbit every 95 minutes. The Earth’s atmosphere distorts light and absorbs certain wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. This is why it is difficult for ground-based telescopes to get sharp images of cosmic objects.

    Despite its limitations, Hubble has revolutionized the study of the early Universe. Before Hubble, telescopes could only see up to a redshift of one. With Hubble, we can now see 96 per cent of the sky, thanks to the Wide Field Camera 3. The James Webb Space Telescope will take us even further.

    The Hubble Space Telescope has also improved its imaging system. In 2009, it replaced the original Wide Field and Planetary Camera. In the images of the nebula, a new star was forming. The image of the new star can be seen in the infrared region.

    In Australia, the Hubble Space Telescope can be seen from most capital cities. The highest pass will be in Brisbane on May 7 between 5:43am and 5:52am. During these passes, Hubble will be so bright, it will rival the brightest star of the Southern Cross, Acrux, at magnitude 0.8. However, other capital cities further south will have to wait until May 11 or 12 to catch a glimpse of the telescope.

    The Hubble Space Telescope can see hundreds of millions of light-years away. The Hubble is also capable of seeing distant galaxies. Using gravitational lensing, it can see faraway objects in the sky. In fact, this telescope can see galaxies hundreds of millions of light years after the Big Bang.

    Another recent discovery was the discovery of a star cluster called Earendel. It was discovered by astronomer Dan Coe in 2016 and named as part of the Hubble observation program. Welch studied the tiny speck for three and a half years. He used computer models to estimate its distance and began to think it was something special.

    The Hubble Space Telescope has a 2.4 metre aperture and can see objects up to 60,000 times fainter than the human eye. However, this telescope is not without flaws. The original Hubble telescope had a flaw when it was launched, which was repaired in space. The JWST, on the other hand, will be 1.5 million kilometers away from Earth.

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