THIS POSTER #11 Children

Line of sight ~ exclusive poster on the Hubble Space Telescope

As Hubble Space Telescope turns 27, we take a look at its development and achievements through the years, some fun facts and the man after which the telescope is named. It’s all out there… in your LINE OF SIGHT!


1946 - Lyman Spitzer Jr., an astrophysicist, calls for a space-based observatory. Argues that such a device would be unhindered by earth’s atmosphere, thereby offering never-seen-before sights of our universe.

1977 - The United States Congress finally approves the funding for the Large Space Telescope.

1983 - It was renamed Hubble Space Telescope, in honour of American astronomer Edwin Hubble.

1985 - The building of Hubble is completed.

1986 - All shuttle flights, including the launch of Hubble, are delayed by the Challenger disaster.

1990 - Space shuttle Discovery takes Hubble to space on April 24. Hubble is deployed into its orbit on April 25.

Spherical error in the main mirror of the Hubble causes images to be blurry, as seen in the first pictures sent by the telescope.

COSTAR is approved to correct this error.

1993 - In December, corrective optics of COSTAR is installed as part of the First Servicing Mission on Hubble.

1994 - Provides conclusive evidence for the existence of Supermassive Black Holes.

1995 - Captures the Eagle Nebula, now famous as “the pillars of creation”.

1997 - Servicing Mission 2 replaces certain instruments with upgrades.

1999 - Servicing Mission 3A conducts general maintenance and is the first servicing mission not replacing any older science instruments.

2002 - Servicing Mission 3B installs ACS (Advanced Camera for Surveys), improved cooling systems and new solar panels.

Hubble detects an object larger than Pluto in the Kuiper belt (now defined as a region of the solar system beyond the orbit of Neptune, believed to contain many comets, asteroids and other small bodies). Leads to a debate on Pluto’s status.

2007 - Hubble observes that dwarf planet Eris is bigger than Pluto.

Power supply fails on ACS, one of Hubble’s vital instruments.

2009 - Servicing Mission 4 installs two new instruments that make Hubble 100 times more powerful than when it was launched. Gyroscopes and batteries are replaced, damaged instruments are repaired and new equipments are installed.

2011 - Hubble makes its millionth observation, a spectroscopic analysis of an exoplanet.

10,000th scientific paper using Hubble data is published.

2012 - Finds an object from a time less than 500 million years after the Big Bang.

2014 - Becomes the first telescope to observe an asteroid disintegrating.

2015 - Year-long celebrations across the globe honouring the telescope’s quarter-century in space.

Click here to see the enlarged poster

Hubble facts

Hubble is 13.3 m long and weighs about 12,250 kg - that’s the weight of about three full-grown Indian elephants put together.

Travelling along a circular low Earth orbit about 550 km in altitude, Hubble has covered over 3 billion miles so far.

More than 1.3 million observations since 1990.

With over 14,000 scientific papers using Hubble data, it is one of the most productive scientific instruments of all time.

Its archives contain more than 140 terabytes, with 10 terabytes of processed data added every year.

The original Hubble

Edwin Powell Hubble is best known for determining that there are other galaxies beyond our own Milky Way in the universe.

Hubble is also responsible for observing that the universe is expanding at a constant rate.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 2:14:38 AM |

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