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Hubble Telescope: Discoveries, Features, How to visit & What NASA's Hubble is watching Live in space?

Tulika Tandon

Hubble Telescope: On April 24, 1990, Discovery space shuttle lifted the Hubble telescope off from the Earth's surface and put it in its address orbit or payload bay.  Recently Hubble captured one of the largest Einstein rings ever seen which has prompted researchers over the world. The ring created by gravitational lens can be a lead to discover many objects in space.

Did you know that you can actually also see what Hubble is looking at right now? You can also visit Hubble to see things for yourself. It is not dependent on nationality or colour. So all the science geeks can space watch from the Hubble and this happens every year. Go through the article below to know all details .

A Hubble image of one of the largest Einstein rings ever seen prompted new research.

This "ring" is created by gravitational lensing – when light from a distant galaxy is warped by the gravity of an object between the light source and the observer: https://t.co/tj8Q1SIBTa pic.twitter.com/RU9c6FxIHc

— Hubble (@NASAHubble) September 23, 2021

Hubble Telescope: History and Facts

  1. In April 1990, Discovery lifted off the first leading space based telescope into orbit from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. It deployed the Hubble Space Telescope into low Earth orbit. 
  2. The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency.
  3. It is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD.
  4. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, MD., conducts the science operations by Hubble.
  5. Hubble was not the first space telescope but was the largest among all. 
  6. It was named after Edwin Hubble and is one of NASA's great observatories, along with Compton Gamma Ray Telescope. 
  7. Hubble features a 2.4 m (7 ft 10 in) mirror, and its five main instruments observe in the ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. 
  8. Hubble was funded in the 1970s and built by the United States space agency NASA with contributions from the European Space Agency.
  9. Hubble is the only telescope designed to be maintained in space by astronauts.

Hubble Space Telescope Observing Program: How to visit Hubble?

  1. The unique fact about the Hubble Space Telescope is that anyone can apply for observing time on the telescope.
  2. The application process is open to worldwide competition without any restrictions on academic affiliation. 
  3. The potential users in their application must show that  their observations can only be accomplished with Hubble’s unique capabilities and are beyond the capabilities of ground-based telescopes. 
  4. The observations must address a significant astronomical mystery and greater the observation time, greater the scrutiny. 
  5. Calls for proposals to use HST are issued annually. The time allocated for a cycle lasts approximately one year. 
  6. The director of the STScI can allocate up to 10% of total observing time anytime in the year. It is generally done for astronomers observing or discovering supernovae. 
  7. The planning and scheduling personnel of the STScI prepare an observing calendar for executing winning programs.
  8. Since HST is not in continuous communication with Earth, therefore the telescope is programmed to automatically execute a to-do list of observations which is uploaded in packets several times a week.

Hubble Telescope: What Hubble is watching live?

You can also know what Hubble is looking at right now on its official website hubblesite.org. Currently on September 24, 2021 the site mentions that, "Hubble is looking at the Galaxy ARP151 Wide Field Camera 3(WFC3/UVI) for Dr Michael Koss. One can visit the official website and click on the link to see what Hubble is right now capturing. The link is spacetelescopelive.org. This link would show the observer what Hubble is seeing at realtime. 

You can also take a live tour of the Space Telescope here:

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