Astronomy

The Top 10 Hubble Telescope Discoveries



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Edwin Hubble was a famous astronomer in the 1920's. Hubble was famous for looking beyond our galaxy discovering that the universe was much more vast than people thought. The Hubble telescope named for him has been instrumental in making many important discoveries since it was first deployed into orbit with the space shuttle in April 1990. So what are the top ten Hubble discoveries? Here they are listed below in no particular order.

1. According to NASA, the Hubble Telescope was responsible for the discovery of a mysterious form of energy known as dark energy. Dark energy appears to come from empty space.This dark energy allows for a quicker expansion of the universe. It works by pushing galaxies away from each other at rapid speeds, while also pushing against gravity. By studying supernovas, scientists were able to discover this "dark energy."

2. The Hubble telescope helped astronomers accomplish the goal of determining the age of the universe, narrowing the universe's age to between thirteen and fourteen billion years old. To determine this, scientists used pulsating stars to establish and measure distances related to  universal age.

3. According to NASA, the Hubble telescope can show us pictures of what the early universe looked like. These pictures of deep space were taken over a period of time and helped scientists in their quest to not only study our galaxy but look for new ones. By the use of ultraviolet and visible light, we can get a glimpse into the deepest parts of the universe.

4. The Hubble telescope has recently discovered the life cycle of stars. This phenomena was captured in a single camera view taken by NASA  from images seen from the Hubble telescope.  The discovery was of 700 clustered stars in a nebulae.

5. With the Hubble telescope NASA is able to see elliptical galaxies and black holes. The black holes they were able to discover have masses billion times larger than our sun.

6. In 1999 the Hubble telescope captured photos of a gamma ray explosion, the largest ever recorded explosion. The telescope showed that there were brief flashes of radiation coming from rapidly forming stars in these other galaxies. Hubble was also able to detect the collapse of large groups of stars, found lying in other galaxies.

7. Through the use of the Hubble telescope, scientists have been able to track down quasars; energy and radiation generators. They have been able to learn that these quasars are located at the center of galaxies. Scientists have learned that quasars can outshine billions of stars.

8. Nebulae, which are flattened disks of gas and dust, are the possible birthplaces of new planetary systems. Hubble has provided visual proof that there are pancake-shaped dust disks around young stars. This suggests that the building blocks for planet formation are in place.

9. The Hubble has been able to show what are known as "black scars" on the surface of Jupiter. These "scars" come from Jupiter being hit by large chunks of a comet in 1994. The results of this hit were many mushroom shaped fireballs in the atmosphere of the planet.

10. Hubble has been able to discern nebulae, or gas clouds created by dying stars. The Hubble was also able to show that no two nebulae are alike.

Even though the Hubble telescope is getting older and has needed repair, it is expected to function well for another five years. Hopefully this will be the case, as it has done significant work in helping scientists with discoveries.

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