NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has made incredible discoveries since its launch in 1990. This iconic space-based observatory has revolutionized our understanding of the universe and has captured mesmerizing images of planets, galaxies, and cosmic phenomena. The top 10 incredible discoveries include the discovery of the expanding universe, confirmation of the existence of dark matter and dark energy, the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field image revealing thousands of galaxies, black holes’ massive gravity, the birth of stars, water on exoplanets, the iconic image of the Pillars of Creation, Jupiter’s moons, and the age of the universe. With the advent of new space-based observatories and technology, we can expect more ground-breaking discoveries and breathtaking images in the future.
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope’s Top 10 Incredible Discoveries
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope is an iconic space-based observatory that has been providing groundbreaking insights into the universe since its launch in 1990. The telescope has revolutionized our understanding of the cosmos, allowing us to see things that are beyond our reach from Earth. Hubble has made numerous discoveries and captured mesmerizing images of planets, galaxies, and cosmic phenomena. In this article, we will discuss ten incredible discoveries made by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.
1. The Expansion of the Universe
In 1929, astronomer Edwin Hubble discovered that the universe was expanding. Almost six decades later, Hubble Space Telescope made a discovery that confirmed this theory. The telescope measured the distances to far-off galaxies and found that they were moving away from us at a speed proportional to their distance from us. This led to the conclusion that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate.
2. Dark Matter
The mystery of dark matter has puzzled scientists for years. Hubble Space Telescope played a significant role in solving this puzzle by observing the effects of its gravity on visible matter. According to the telescope’s observations, dark matter makes up 27% of the universe while ordinary matter makes up only 5%.
3. Hubble Ultra Deep Field
Hubble Ultra-Deep Field is one of the most iconic and awe-inspiring images captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. This image revealed thousands of galaxies that were previously unknown to us. It is believed that the universe contains around 100 billion galaxies, with each galaxy containing billions of stars.
4. Black Holes’ Massive Gravity
Black holes are the cosmic objects with massive gravity that consumes everything that comes close to it. Hubble Space Telescope captured an image of a galaxy that was distorted by massive gravitational forces. This distortion led to the conclusion that black holes were present at the galaxy’s center.
5. The Birth of Stars
Hubble Space Telescope captured images of the birth and death of stars, providing new insights into the process of star formation. The telescope revealed that stars form when clouds of gas and dust collapse under the influence of gravity. This led to the discovery of protostars or baby stars, which eventually turn into the bright stars we see in the night sky.
6. Confirmed the existence of Dark Energy
In 1998, two teams of astronomers used Hubble Space Telescope to observe distant supernovae and discover that the universe’s expansion was not slowing down but accelerating. This led to the discovery of dark energy, a mysterious force that is causing the universe’s expansion to accelerate.
7. Water on Exoplanets
Exoplanets are planets outside our solar system, and Hubble Space Telescope discovered water vapor in the atmospheres of several exoplanets. This discovery provided evidence that water is not only abundant in the universe but can also exist on planets other than Earth.
8. The Pillars of Creation
The Pillars of Creation is an iconic image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. It shows massive pillars of gas and dust within the Eagle Nebula. These pillars are where stars are currently forming, and the image provides insight into the process of star formation.
9. Jupiter’s Moons
The Hubble Space Telescope revealed that Jupiter has more than 79 moons. It also discovered a new red spot on the gas giant, which is believed to be a storm that is twice the size of Earth.
10. The Age of the Universe
Hubble Space Telescope was used to determine the age of the universe to be 13.8 billion years. The telescope measured distances to far-off galaxies and, coupled with measurements of the expansion of the universe, provided a better estimate of the universe’s age.
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has made numerous discoveries and captured breathtaking images of the universe. Its discoveries have revolutionized our understanding of the cosmos and provided new insights into the formation and evolution of the universe. With the advent of new space-based observatories and advancements in technology, we can expect more groundbreaking discoveries and breathtaking images in the coming years.