• Recently, the safe mode was activated in the Hubble telescope after an onboard computer halt, leading to all non-essential systems being shut down – essentially meaning the telescope is not being used for astronomy observations for time being.
• The Hubble was put in safe mode after a problem appeared with its payload computer, which controls and coordinates the science instruments onboard the observatory.
Why is the Hubble telescope famous?
• Named after the astronomer Edwin Hubble, the observatory is the first major optical telescope to be placed in space and has made ground-breaking discoveries in the field of astronomy since its launch.
• The launch and deployment of Hubble in April 1990 is said to be the “most significant advance in astronomy since Galileo’s telescope.”
Hubble space telescope :
• It is larger than a school bus in size, has a 7.9 feet mirror, and captures images of deep space playing a major role in helping astronomers understand the universe by observing the most distant stars, galaxies and planets.
• Telescopes have a particular range of light that they can detect. Hubble’s domain extends from the ultraviolet through the visible (which our eyes see) and into the near-infrared.
• This range has allowed Hubble to deliver stunning images of stars, galaxies, and other astronomical objects that have inspired people around the world and changed our understanding of the universe.
• The telescope has tracked interstellar objects as they soared through our solar system, watched a comet collide with Jupiter, and discovered moons around Pluto.
• Hubble has peered back into our universe’s distant past, to locations more than 13.4 billion light-years from Earth, capturing galaxies merging, probing the supermassive black holes that lurk in their depths, and helping us better understand the history of the expanding universe.
Mains Paper 3: Science and Tech
Prelims level: Hubble telescope
Mains level: Awareness in the fields of Science and Technology