Homepage Educators and Developers Homepage
 

Discussion question

> Hubble's One-Millionth Observation

AUG. 2011

Hubble Makes One-Millionth Science Observation

Artist's concept of Hubble's millionth observation
ENLARGE ARTIST'S CONCEPT

A Hubble milestone:
An extrasolar planet was the one-millionth view

The Hubble Space Telescope crossed another milestone in its space odyssey of exploration and discovery. On Monday, July 4, the Earth-orbiting observatory logged its one-millionth science observation. Hubble is well-known for its spectacular images. In this case, however, special instruments aboard Hubble were used to search for water in an extrasolar planet's atmosphere 1,000 light-years away.

Hubble's scrapbook includes images of celestial objects taken over its 21 years in space as well as observations used to test that the telescope's science instruments are working properly. Since its launch and deployment in April 1990, Hubble has been keeping its "eye" on the universe. Hubble images have helped expand our view of the cosmos, allowing us to better understand our universe.

section of HUDF image
ENLARGE

Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF):
Billion-year-old galaxies

Hubble's image of Saturn
ENLARGE

Hubble's Saturn

portion of the Eagle Nebula
ENLARGE

The Eagle Nebula

The telescope's many science accomplishments include making the first visible-light image of a planet outside our solar system and taking some of the deepest views of the universe, revealing galaxies that existed billions of years ago.

Besides its groundbreaking science discoveries, Hubble also has wowed the public with its breathtaking images. Popular favorites include such cosmic beauties as Saturn and its rings and the pillars of gas in the Eagle Nebula.

 

The Star Witness

brings you "tele-scoops" from the Hubble Space Telescope