Night Vision: Space Telescopes

In 1978 Congress approved the budget for the the LST (Large Space Telescope) that would eventually become the Hubble Space Telescope. At that same time a program was proposed as, ”A Strategy for Space Astronomy and Astrophysics for the 1980′s,” forever changing the way we saw space science and the sky.

Hubble Space Telescope extreme deep field image of galaxies

This extreme deep field image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope reveals over 5,500 galaxies (some very new and others very old) in a space in the sky no larger than a penny. Photo credit: R. Ellis, Caltech, ESA, NASA

Hubble, along with the Chandra X-ray Observatory, the Spitzer Space Telescope (STS), and the failed Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory, became the telescopes of the Great Observatories Program.

Since then many successors have followed, but none have come close to windows of discovery opened by the Hubble Space Telescope.

Now, in 2016, and with no more servicing missions to the Hubble Space Telescope, we await the launch of its successor the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) in 2018,  promising to give us even more spectacular views nearly all the way back to the Big Bang.

This week’s edition of Night Vision is hosted by Andy Fortenberry on Saturday, April 16th at 6:45pm in the Hansen Dome Theatre. Tickets are available online or at the Clark Planetarium ticketing desk for just $2, or free for members of the Planetarium.


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