The Universe, as revealed by Hubble

About Hubble (the man)

The Hubble Space Telescope was named after the astronomer Edwin Hubble, who made one of the greatest scientific breakthroughs of the 20th century when he discovered that the universe is expanding.

About Hubble (the telescope)

The Hubble Space Telescope was launched in 1990. Despite a near-disaster (a faulty lens meant that it was out of focus, and had to be repaired by a special space-walking mission) the HST has been spectacularly successful.


Pictures taken by the Hubble space telescope

Above, a spiral galaxy, known as the Pinwheel galaxy.

Spiral galaxies were originally described by Edwin Hubble in his 1936 work The Realm of the Nebulae.

Two galaxies colliding

Hubble’s “deep field” photographs, taken by having extremely long exposures, reveal light that is very faint, coming from galaxies so old and so far away that they have never been seen before.

Despite its success, the Hubble Space Telescope will go out of commission in about 2014. It will be succeeded by the James Webb Space Telescope, to be launched in 2018, named after a former NASA chief, who was behind the Apollo Program. The JWST will be designed to observe the infra-red band of the spectrum, and will see old galaxies being formed, and look for planets in them.

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