Episode 2: An Unexpected Journey – With 5 maintenance objectives, updated instruments, and brand-new methods of operating, Hubble is not the very same telescope it was when it released. Discover the ingenious methods astronomers and engineers utilize Hubble today.
Watch Episode 1: Driving the Hubble Space Telescope.
We have lock, and are great to send out that command. We have thirty-one minutes and thirty-two seconds for our assistance. Go for status buffer dump.
Because the Hubble Space Telescope is so clinically efficient today, researchers are utilizing Hubble to examine a few of the inmost secrets of deep space.
One of the main things Hubble has actually been doing is taking a look at the environments around exoplanets.
If you had actually asked the men who developed Hubble and created Hubble, they would have sworn that Hubble might never ever do this.
That’s among the important things I like about Hubble is that it winds up offering us brand-new concerns, brand-new secrets to check out.
Hubble In The Sky
Episode 2: An Unexpected Journey
My name is Larry Dunham. I’m the chief systems engineer for flight systems here on the Hubble Space Telescope.
I began on the Hubble program back in the summer season of 1982, when Hubble was being developed out in California. First telescope, in area, to be created so that we’ve got what we call orbital replacement systems. They’re modular boxes with hand rails on them so the astronauts can increase and simply select and play. They’ve got good ports on them that make it simple for the astronauts with their huge gloves to be able to put them in and out.
We’ve had 5 maintenance objectives. We have actually changed some devices several times, particularly the instruments. We’re constantly choosing the sophisticated innovation.
The telescope we have today on orbit is not the telescope that we released initially. We’ve had the ability to change all 5 of our science instruments with instruments that have the innovation that didn’t even exist when Hubble was being developed initially.
The Hubble Space Telescope is actually an observatory due to the fact that it has numerous science instruments, numerous moduses operandi. We have several video cameras, several spectrographs. They each have various abilities in regards to their level of sensitivities or the type of frequencies they can get of the electro-magnetic spectrum. We can likewise utilize Hubble in various type of interesting modes depending upon what we’re attempting to observe.
There are various kinds of observing circumstances, and among the important things the researchers have actually had the ability to do is they’ve had the ability to develop really fascinating and special observing circumstances that permit them to do science that they never ever believed they might do in the past.
Because the Hubble Space Telescope has actually been running for a very long time, it’s offering us what we require to check out deep space in deep manner ins which would never ever have actually been possible when Hubble was very first released.
For example, researchers questioned whether we might utilize Hubble in an ingenious mode in the last few years, essentially scanning things gradually, rather of simply gazing
at them. In some cases that provides us a greater level of sensitivity to what we’re attempting to observe.
And we’re utilizing that unique mode on Hubble now to improve info about lots of kinds of things in area, consisting of to be able to study worlds around other stars, what we call exoplanets, worlds beyond our own planetary system.
What Hubble’s had the ability to do is as the worlds enter front of the stars that they’re walking around, the spectrographs can discover modifications, really little modifications in the spectrum. This has actually enabled them to do exoplanet climatic research studies.
This is something that Hubble has sort of actually stepped up to the plate. It has actually been simply extremely proficient at.
The spectrographs have actually sort of been leading that, if you ever see aspects of, oh, a brand-new exoplanet was found that has this in the environment or that in the environment, and we believe it’s made from this, it’s the spectrographs which have actually revealed you that type of info.
For doing a great deal of the exoplanet observations, you need to capture what’s referred to as a transit.
One, the orbit of the exoplanet needs to be such that it’s going to go in between you and the star it’s walking around.
We can’t simply do an exoplanet observation whenever we desire or whenever it’s hassle-free. We need to do an exoplanet observation when it’s very first beginning to enter into the star, therefore they need to understand really precisely the timing of that.
We need to arrange it ahead of time. This is not something that Hubble can navigate to when it wishes to. We need to state no, at this moment in time on this date, you need to be pointed here and you need to be looking here. We needed to actually think of how to arrange this.
A great deal of idea enters into it. A great deal of idea enters into the preparation and of the execution.
The Hubble operations group are rather prepared and efficient in utilizing the telescope in brand-new modes and brand-new, ingenious manner ins which allow us to achieve science that we wouldn’t otherwise have the ability to achieve.
We asked, would it be possible to utilize Hubble to track something moving rapidly throughout the sky? And they found out a method to utilize Hubble in a fast-tracking mode that allowed us to do expeditions and discoveries that astronomers didn’t visualize utilizing Hubble for when it was very first created.
Now when we’re observing our worlds, when we’re observing Jupiter, or Saturn, or Uranus, or Neptune, they move likewise. You need to move the telescope due to the fact that they’re simply walking around the Sun. They’re in fact moving due to the fact that they’re actually moving, so we need to move with them.
Or if we’re observing asteroids or comets you need to chase them.
‘Oumuamua, we understand originated from beyond our planetary system, resembles a huge asteroid that was identified zooming through our planetary system. We wished to utilize Hubble to observe this also. And we had the ability to track it and this was not a basic operation.
It’s moving at more than a hundred thousand miles an hour, so having the ability to observe this and track it is a fantastic ability that the operations group has actually made it possible for Hubble to have.
The telescope is huge, it’s huge. It moves about the very same speed as the minute hand on a clock, so to move from pointing at one thing to go totally around the other one, takes us a half an hour. It is not a really quick movement.
We in fact utilize a really fascinating strategy. It’s utilizing Newton’s 3rd law. We have these huge response wheels on it. They’re about 2 feet throughout, really really heavy, really really huge wheels. You begin spinning those wheels one method, the telescope will spin a bit in the opposite instructions.
This is how we can move the telescope from one part of the sky to another part of the sky.
Once we’ve moved the response wheels and we’ve moved the telescope so we’re in the best area, now we need to get in the specific area to put the target in the science instrument aperture.
What’s going to occur now is the FGSs are going to begin speaking with the telescope, speaking with the flight software application computer system and stating, I desire you to move the telescope over here a bit to be able to place the science for the science aperture.
Most of the time we utilize the Hubble Space Telescope to do observations that have actually been prepared a fair bit ahead of time. Observers around the globe, astronomers will compose propositions. We will then take those accepted propositions and observe whatever it is that the astronomer has actually proposed, however in some cases there are things that occur that are unforeseen or fast occasions that we require a more fast action.
We have an ability of what we call a target of chance, which’s when something unforeseen takes place in deep space that astronomers, they wish to right away get on that as quick as possible with Hubble. Case in point was the gravitational wave detection of 2 neutron stars clashing. The target of chance was sent for Hubble to in fact go take a look at the residue, and see if we might discover it.
We had the engineers go through it, we got brand-new commanding series from the Space Telescope Science Institute. We’re able to run all that through and after that we carried out on orbit.
We need to react really quick to produce a brand-new schedule and set of command loads.
We can customize a great deal of the flight software application, customize how the instruments are commanded. It permits us to alter. We can respond really rapidly.
What Hubble has actually done compared to what we were believing Hubble might do is simply fantastic. Hubble’s had its fingers in practically whatever. The neutron star accident. Looking for all the supernovae, all this things happening with dark matter, dark energy, exoplanets.
Hubble has actually simply been continuously discovering brand-new things. Now we’re taking a look at these interstellar comets and these interstellar asteroids visiting us. It’s actually been amazing to see.
There actually are 2 crucial elements to Hubble’s style that have actually allowed us to last the 30 years that we have, which is actually the redundancy that we have on board, and after that it’s the maintenance, putting in brand-new and better instruments, and having the ability to enhance the hardware with lessons discovered over the 30 years of Hubble operations.
We are now at our peak efficiency.
The Hubble Space Telescope has actually had an extensive effect, not just on astronomy. It revealed that people in area and science can work together to allow us to check out area in richer methods than we might ever make with either simply astronauts alone or simply with instrumentation alone.
By utilizing these abilities together, brand-new vistas of expedition are open to us, which lesson is something we’re still taking advantage of as we visualize future area expedition.
“Go ahead?” “We have a go for release.” “Okay, Charlie.”
It’s fantastic with a program that’s lasted, the period that Hubble has actually lasted, that the astronomers up at the Space Telescope Science Institute continue to develop brand-new things that they wish to attempt to do with Hubble, and we definitely hope that we’ll have the ability to continue to supply that type of ability to them up until the late 2020s and beyond.
Hubble Eye In The Sky