How small are we in the scale of the universe? Alex Hofeldt narrates this FANTASTIC VIDEO and explain Hubble and puts it all in perspective! It all began on December 18th 1995, when the Hubble Space Telescope began taking a 10-day picture of an extremely tiny portion of the sky that appeared – incorrectly – to be empty. As Ted-Ed explains, the little bit of blackness that the Hubble Deep Field gazed into is the equivalent of the space a ballpoint pen’s tip would obscure if you held it at arms length in front of the night sky. In other words “barely any space.” And yet the Hubble found some 3,000 packed in there.
That was, of course, just the beginning. The Hubble Ultra-Deep Field was taken from September 24, 2003 to January 16, 2004 ultimately revealing galaxies thought to be formed 13.2 billion years ago, half a billion years after the Big Bang. So the next time you’re having a rough day, just close your eyes and take a second to think of the incomprehensible vastness of the uncaring void, and how little anything here really matters.
Here are all the facts about Hubble:
NASA named the world’s first large, space-based optical telescope after American astronomer Edwin P. Hubble (1889—1953). Dr. Hubble confirmed an “expanding” universe, which provided the foundation for the Big Bang theory.
Launch: April 24, 1990, from space shuttle Discovery (STS-31)
Deployment: April 25, 1990
First Image: May 20, 1990: Star Cluster NGC 3532
Servicing Mission 1: December 1993
Servicing Mission 2: February 1997
Servicing Mission 3A: December 1999
Servicing Mission 3B: February 2002
Servicing Mission 4: May 2009
Length: 43.5 ft (13.2 m)
Weight: At Launch: ~24,500 lb (11,110 kg)
Post SM4: ~27,000 lb (~12,247 kg)
Maximum Diameter: 14 ft (4.2 m)
Low Earth Orbit: Altitude of 340 miles (295 nautical miles, or 547 km), inclined 28.5 degrees to the equator
Time to Complete One Orbit: ~95 minutes
Speed: ~17,000 mph (27,300 kph)
Sensitivity to Light: Ultraviolet through infrared (115—2500 nanometers)
Hubble transmits about 140 gigabits of raw science data every week.
Energy Source: The Sun
Mechanism: Two 25-foot solar panels
Power generation (in sunlight): ~5,500 watts
Power usage (average): ~2,100 watts
In order to take images of distant, faint objects, Hubble must be extremely steady and accurate. The telescope is able to lock onto a target without deviating more than 7/1000th of an arcsecond, or about the width of a human hair seen at a distance of 1 mile.
Primary Mirror Diameter: 94.5 in (2.4 m)
Primary Mirror Weight: 1,825 lb (828 kg)
Secondary Mirror Diameter: 12 in (0.3 m)
Secondary Mirror Weight: 27.4 lb (12.3 kg)
Batteries: 6 nickel-hydrogen (NiH)
Storage Capacity: Equal to 20 car batteries