The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is a telescope that was carried into orbit in 1990 and placed in low Earth orbit. Hubble’s orbit outside the distortion of Earth’s atmosphere allows it to take extremely sharp images with almost no background light. It is a permanent resident of space, set up and maintained by astronauts.
The HST was initially funded in the 1970s, built by NASA and operated by the Space Telescope Science Institute. It has an 8 ft. aperture which can observe from the near ultraviolet, visible, to near infrared. The Hubble has helped to resolve some long-standing problems in astronomy, as well as turning up results that have required new theories to explain them. Hubble can perform high-resolution observations of any part of the night sky, and on objects that are extremely faint. It is scheduled to be replaced by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) in 2018.
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