About Hubble


Named after astronomer Edwin Hubble, NASA launched the Hubble Space Telescope in 1990. Hubble is a telescope that orbits Earth. Moving air in the atmosphere distorts and bends the light making for twinkling stars and blurrier images. With the Hubble Space Telescope in low-earth orbit about 350 miles above the Earth, it can observe objects deep in space, and objects closer to Earth. The telescope has sent back thousands of images helping scientists shed light on many great mysteries in the universe. Hubble has seen galaxies that were formed near the beginning of the universe almost 14 billion years ago, merging galaxies, vast star-forming nebulae, quasars pumping out huge amounts of energy, aurorae on Saturn, comets, icy objects in the Kuiper Belt, asteroids, and the changing face of Pluto. The telescope also has sent back images known for their beauty as well as their scientific importance.




Quick Facts

  • LENGTH: 43.5FT (13.2M) – about the size of a bus
  • WEIGHT: 24,500 LB (11,110 kg)
  • Primary mirror diameter: 94.5in (2.4M)
  • Primary mirror weight: 1,825 lb (828 Kg)
  • Secondary mirror diameter: 12 in (0.3m)
  • Secondary mirror weight: 27.4 lb (12.3 kg)
  • ORBIT: 380 MILES (612 KM)
  • Time to complete one orbit: 97 min
  • Speed: 17,500 mph (28,000 kph)
  • Power source: the sun – via two, 25-ft solar panels