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The "Hubble" camera... an eye on the secrets of the universe

The “Hubble” camera… an eye on the secrets of the universe

Prepared by: Mustafa Al-Zoubi

The “Hubble” telescope of the American and European space agencies celebrates the 20th anniversary of the beginning of the activity of the advanced camera that was installed by two astronauts during the “Hubble 3B” mission, and revealed new and exciting secrets of the universe, and searched the depths of space with unprecedented clarity. The name of the Advanced Camera for Surveys comes from its special ability to observe large areas of space in great and accurate detail. “We knew it would add a lot of discovery potential to the telescope and helped map the distribution of dark matter, discover the most distant objects in the universe, search for large planets and study the evolution of galaxy clusters,” said former astronaut Mike Massimino, one of the two astronauts who fixed the camera.

“The Advanced Camera for Surveys has opened our eyes to a deep and active world for two decades,” said Jennifer Wiseman, a Hubble project scientist at NASA. When the camera was installed, the telescope was able to take deep images of the distant universe, such as the Hubble Deep Field in Baltimore, Maryland, explained Tom Brown, head of the Hubble Space Telescope Mission Office at the Space Telescope Science Institute, and the camera added something more powerful than usual by seeing distant galaxies. is very.

One example is an amazing galaxy called Tadpole, which astronomers photographed shortly after installing the camera and which proved its capabilities, spotted a long tail of stars behind the galaxy, made up of 6000 stars.

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During the 20 years on board the “Hubble”, the camera took 125,000 images and generated many discoveries, including taking it in the “Hubble Ultra-Dimensional Field” an image of a small region containing an estimated 10,000 galaxies, 13 billion light-years away from our planet and in which galaxies dating back to 800 million years after the Big Bang, the boundary fields are formed, a sea of ​​galaxies that look like bounded fields.

Hubble was able to capture these fields after placing a camera that its previous techniques could not find.

Hubble was able to capture these fields after placing a camera that its previous techniques could not find. The camera monitored these fields through infrared rays and lights emitted from the galaxies.

Over the course of three years, “Hubble” devoted 840 revolutions around the Earth, or 1330 hours, to 6 groups of galaxies and 6 parallel fields in the process of observing them, while these parallel fields cannot be observed by gravitational lenses on the telescope without this camera.

Photographing “Pluto”

The camera captured the most detailed images ever of the dwarf planet “Pluto” years before the flight of the “New Horizons” spacecraft. The images reveal a dark, icy world that is subject to seasonal changes in surface and brightness. Camera images were invaluable in detailing the 2015 New Horizons flight by showing which hemisphere looked the most exciting for the craft to capture close-up shots of during its voyage.

In 2008, the camera captured the first visible-light snapshot of what was initially believed to be a planet, which it called “Whale’s Mouth”, a star located in the southern constellation of Pisces, about 25 light-years from Earth, with a temperature of 5800 K.

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The camera captured an unusual phenomenon in space called “light echo”, in which light from a raging star or dust is reflected and then travels to Earth. In 2002, the camera provided an unprecedented and exciting new view of the universe when it spotted “Abell 1689”, a cluster of galaxies in the constellation Virgo, 2.2 billion light-years away from Earth. It is characterized by its properties by working as a gravitational lens, that is, it shows the galaxies behind it.

mature galaxies

Using the camera, scientists were able to glimpse the ancient time 9 billion light years ago, when an international team of astronomers found mature galaxies in the so-called young universe. Galaxies are members of a group of galaxies that existed when the universe was only 5 billion years old, which was considered evidence that galaxies must have started forming immediately after the Big Bang.

Using the camera, astronomers discovered supernovae that long ago exploded in the universe, and provided new clues about its acceleration and mysterious “dark energy” by capturing the faint glow of these very distant supernovae.

And in 1998, Hubble scientists found such a distant supernova that made the unexpected discovery that galaxies seemed to be moving away from each other at an ever-increasing speed. They attributed this accelerating expansion to a mysterious factor known as dark energy, which is believed to permeate the universe.