It was back in 1990 that NASA launched the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). For the last 31 years, HST has been dazzling us with images of stars and galaxies that we never imagined were possible. The photographs captured by HST are capable of wowing the scientist and the non-scientist alike.
More than just being an instrument to collect a stunning collection of photographs, HST has led to some of the most important discoveries about our universe and all things space. In an interview with Betway Casino, Dr Hawley speaks of how he always keeps an eye on the latest discoveries that HST makes and that he even updates his crew mates on each anniversary of Hubble’s launch.
Those updates are due to end by the looks of things. It is this year that will see HST being replaced by the Webb Space Telescope. Is this just a case of superseding HS, or is the Webb telescope something completely new? Here’s a look at the differences between the two as well as the advancements that have been made over the last three decades.
The differences in light
These two space telescopes view different lights and so exactly what they capture will differ somewhat. With HST, the focus is on visible and ultraviolet light. With the Webb Space Telescope, the focus here is on red and infrared. This means that it is capable of focusing on bright objects. The main example being distant galaxies.
The size of the two telescopes
Another area where there is a difference between HST and the Webb Space Telescope is when looking at the sizes of these. The Hubble measures 13.2 meters in length and has a maximum diameter of 4.2 meters. By means of comparison, this means that the HST is around the same size as a large tractor-trailer truck.
If you could place HST and the Webb telescope side by side, the difference would be immediately obvious. The Webb comes in at around 22 meters by 12 meters. This makes it around about half the size of a 737 plane.
The distance to earth
Another major difference between the two telescopes can be found when considering how far away from earth that they are. HST orbits around the earth and this orbit takes place some 570 km up. The Webb Telescope is a little different.
The Webb Telescope does not orbit the earth. It actually sits at a fixed ping 1.5 million km away! The point at which it sits is known as the Sun L2 Lagrange. This telescope is able to cope at this distance thanks to its sun shield which protects it.
A true replacement?
In an interview with Betway Casino, Dr Hawley is clear that his experiences with HST will never be forgotten. HST is unlikely to be forgotten by anyone given the significance of the discoveries that it has made.
The thought of HST being replaced may be a bitter pill to swallow for many, but the truth is that the Webb Space Telescope isn’t seen as a direct replacement, not by NASA anyway.