Hubble turns 25!!!


Too old to watch the Asian races live.
The 24th of April marks the 25th Anniversary of the placing of the Hubble into Earth orbit! It hardly seems possible that it has been that long.

When one considers how profoundly it has changed our understanding of the universe, it is hard not to conclude that it has been one of the most significant astronomical creations in mankind's history.
Actually, the impact hasn't been all that great. And, with the numerous upgrades in instrumentation during its lifetime, it has performed far better than it would have with perfect optics to start, but without the instrument upgrades.
I've always felt that filtering a picture through a computer to try and clear up the image will only ever give an approximation of the actual object and not a definitive one no matter how good the software is.

Example take a blurred picture of someone's face run it through some clean up software and you will get a face but it may not resemble the actual face of that person.
It still returned an endless supply of images that would have been beyond anything we could ever hope to see on earth-based optical instruments.

Just think, New Horizon is on it way to Pluto. The probe was launcheed over 8 years ago. Only in May will it begin to transmit clearer images of Pluto's than Hubble's. Two months before it reaches it.

It gives you an idea of how much has depended on Hubble for optical-wave observations in thee past 20 25 years or so.

The correction to Hubble's initial problem involved installing corrective lenses (like human glasses) on the instruments. The performance is not solely due to software enhancements.
I doubt it very much. It would be a lot less needed now that they'e practically found a technique to eliminate atmospheric perturbations and digitally linking the world's largest telescopes in one gigantic virtual telescope mirror. The tendency since Hubble has been to send more specialised telescopes into orbit, like Keppler etc... Certainly wouldn't be worth the stratospheric costs involved.
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Happy Birthday Hubble.

Actually I thought that a replacement was in the process of being built, and should have been out there a year or so ago. Or have I been dreaming?
The Hubble successor is the James Webb space telescope. It is primarily an infrared detector and will be in an orbit beyond the moon.
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