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Hubble Space Telescope

People have wanted to learn more about the stars and planets in the sky since the beginning of time. The first telescope was discovered by Hans Lippershey, a Dutch eyeglass maker, in 1608 and news of the discovery spread quickly through Europe. In 1609, Italian scientist, Galileo Galilei, was amazed to see mountains and valleys on the moon when he looked through a homemade telescope. The earth’s atmosphere has always prevented scientists from getting clear images of stars and planets. They built telescopes on mountaintops but atmosphere was still a problem. Scientists dreamed of a telescope in space, above the atmosphere.

That dream became a reality on April 25, 1990 when the Hubble Space Telescope was released into orbit by the crew of the space shuttle Discovery. The Hubble was named after astronomer Edwin P. Hubble (1889-1953). It has several digital cameras, each with a different function, so it can take pictures of large areas or a single star and much more. The Hubble has sent more than 50,000 pictures to scientists, expanding our knowledge of outer space. Learn more from the websites and books listed below. 


Did you know?

  • The Hubble Telescope gets its energy from the sun with two 25-foot solar panels
  • The Hubble completes an orbit around the earth in 97 minutes, traveling almost 5 miles per second
  • The Hubble weighs 24,000 pounds on Earth and it’s made of 100,000 different parts  

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