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Hubble Space Telescope

Currently halfway through a recently extended working life, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has focussed its not inconsiderable eye on the visible universe, bringing images from 100 times further away than ever before and hinting at what determines some of the profound events taking place in our universe.

Hubble Space Telescope

Its capabilities have enabled Hubble Space Telescope unprecedented glimpses into the stages governing the complex lifespan of a star, from its often violent and erratic formation, through a  growth period fraught with stellar competition, on to transformation and eventual doom. Identifying the processes by which stars and planets form is central to understanding the evolution of our universe and,  while Hubble Space Telescope has not answered some key questions, it has helped confirm a number of previously held theories and opened several new lines of thought. 

This Hubble Space Telescope term paper aims to analyze Hubble Space Telescope’s findings in respect of star lifecycles, examining in more detail some of the major findings which offer greatest insight into the various stages of star life. The conclusion of the Hubble Space Telescope term paper will assess the extent of the knowledge attained by its deployment, thus identifying the areas on which any successor should focus.

The Hubble Space Telescope, named after astronomer Edwin Hubble, was launched from the shuttle Discovery on 25 April 1990 and is expected to remain in orbit until 2010, with its activities somewhat downgraded after the deployment of its successor, the Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST) in 2007. A collaborative international project, ESA joined forces with the US space agency NASA on this, the first of its Large Telescope Programme projects, with Hubble Space Telescope intended as a space laboratory conducting continual orbits, each lasting just over an hour and a half. A Ritchey – Chretien telescope, amongst its capabilities are NICMOS (Near Infrared Camera and Multi Object Spectrometer), capable of ‘seeing’ light at wavelengths invisible to the human eye, UV sensitivity, high resolution and a capacity to detect faint objects, which has proved crucial in situations where the luminosity of any given object had previously rendered invisible its duller neighbours.

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