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Top Space Telescopes: James Webb, Hubble, Compton, Chandra, and More!

We are amazed by these images coming from space, where stars and galaxies are like grains of sand. No one has the ability to count them, and they are in constant motion, with no known end to when they stop. We would not have seen all of this without astronomical observatories or what are known as telescopes.

Known “Space probe“It is an unmanned device sent to explore space and collect scientific information. It is launched from Earth along with a group of scientific devices and tools used to study the atmosphere, how space is formed, and to study planets, moons, and other celestial bodies.

The probe may be stationed far out in space, it may orbit or land on a planet or moon, it may make a one-way trip, it may bring samples and data back to Earth, or it may send data via radio waves.

He was the first to suggest The idea of ​​sending astronomical observatories was invented by the American professor of astrophysics, Lyman Spitzer, in 1946. The main reason behind his proposal to place telescopes in space was to wander around the Earth’s atmosphere so that scientists could get a clearer view of the planets, stars, and galaxies underneath. the studyThe atmosphere acts as a protective layer that allows only some light to pass while blocking other types of light, which are harmful. However, this causes the loss of other waves that are useful for studying space.

The most prominent space telescopes

Before creating space telescopes, there are goals and limitations, which determine their size and cost. As for its objectives, it is the purpose or study to be carried out from this telescope, which determines the size of the devices and tools that will be inside the probe, and thus determines its size, which means the size of the missile carrying it, and ultimately the total cost of the entire operation.

There Species Some satellites are for communications or climate monitoring, and others are for maps or military uses. There are also huge observatories, which are concerned with studying planets and galaxies or searching for life in the depths of the universe, and others that study how life arises.

Below we review the most prominent space telescopes and the mission of each type.

James Webb Space Telescope when it was under construction (NASA)

James Webb Telescope

The James Webb Telescope was the product of a collaboration between the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the European Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency.

Now located 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, James Webb was built to achieve four main goals: to look at the first stars and galaxies in the early universe, identify galaxies that are difficult to see with the Hubble Telescope, take pictures of the birth of stars, and more, study planets and systems. Planets.

In July 2022, US President Joe Biden revealed the first images from the James Webb Space Telescope, and these images showed in color thousands of galaxies that had ever been observed in infrared light.

With the first deep field images from James Webb presented to a global audience, He said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson: “Webb Deep Field I is not only the first full-color image from the James Webb Space Telescope, it is the deepest and sharpest infrared image of the distant universe to date. This image covers a patch of sky about the size of a grain of sand at arm’s length.” “It’s just a small slice of the vast universe.”

The Hubble Space Telescope returned to orbit in February 1997 (NASA)

Hubble telescope

The Hubble Space Telescope, or “the grandfather of telescopes” as it is called, was named after Edwin Hubble, the discoverer of the theory of the expansion of the universe. It was launched on April 24, 1990, and continued to monitor the Earth’s orbit until June of 2021 after its computers stopped, and NASA stated that it Working on fixing it.

Hubble revolutionized astronomy, providing stunning images of countless cosmic objects and giving astronomers their own far-reaching views of the universe.

Hubble also shed light on the size of the universe, the life cycle of stars, black holes, and the formation of the first galaxies.

Photographed by astronauts from the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory during its deployment from the space shuttle Atlantis in April 1991.

Compton Gamma Ray Observatory

Compton Gamma Ray Observatory Named after Arthur Compton, a pioneer in gamma ray studies, it was launched on April 5, 1991, and deorbited on June 4, 2000.

It is one of the most famous space telescopes used by NASA to study celestial bodies, as it measures gamma rays, which are a type of electromagnetic radiation emitted from some sources in the universe, such as active and distant explosions in galaxies.

The Compton Observatory was located 450 kilometers above the Earth’s surface, and was working well until 2000 when it stopped due to a mechanical disturbance that caused it to come off its axis.

A NASA artist’s conceptual drawing of the Chandra Observatory floating in space (NASA)

Chandra X-ray Observatory

Chandra It is the third of NASA’s four major observatories, and it is the most powerful X-ray telescope in the world. It is named after the Indian-American physicist Subramanian Chandrasekhar.

Chandra’s role was to examine X-rays emitted by some of the strangest objects in the universe, including quasars, massive clouds of gas and dust and particles that are sucked into black holes.

Chandra has collaborated several times with other telescopes, including the Hubble Telescope, to take composite images of galaxies and other objects in the universe.

Among Chandra’s achievements was the discovery of previously undiscovered black holes. He also provided new visualizations of the massive black hole found in the Milky Way Galaxy, and the observatory captured the first X-ray images of Mars.

NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has been shut down after more than 16 years of exploring the universe (NASA)

Spitzer Space Telescope

He was Spitzer The last of the major observatories to be launched, it collects infrared radiation emitted by cosmic objects, including distant galaxies, black holes and even comets in our solar system.

Infrared radiation is difficult to detect from Earth because it is largely absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere. Spitzer was the first telescope to observe light from a planet outside the solar system, and it also observed and highlighted Jupiter’s moons.

An imaginary image of the Herschel Observatory (ESA)

Herschel Space Observatory

Release Herschel To space on May 14, 2009, accompanied by the Planck and Herschel telescopes, manufactured by the European Space Agency. It is the largest and most powerful infrared telescope, as it monitors far-infrared wavelengths resulting from some of the coldest objects in space.

Herschel was designed to search for water, whether in nearby comets or in distant dust clouds, and astronomers who manufactured Herschel expect it to be able to observe young stars during their formation, something they could not see before, as thanks to it scientists have discovered 1,000 new stars.

A visualization of the Planck Observatory of the European Space Agency (ESA)

Planck Observatory

and he Observatory Affiliated with the European Space Agency, its mission is to focus on the microwave light of the universe, mapping radiation and providing the most detailed measurements of temperature changes on planets, also exploring the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy, and drawing a three-dimensional map of the magnetic field of the Milky Way Galaxy.

An artist’s drawing of NASA’s Kepler spacecraft, which is working on the mission to search for habitable planets (NASA)

Kepler mission

Kepler A NASA telescope whose mission is specifically to search for Earth-like planets in the galaxy.

Kepler searches for distinct variations in light from a pre-defined target group of 100,000 stars. Astronomers hope to be able to find planets in the habitable zones of stars, where temperatures are just right for liquid water to exist.

An imaginary image of the Fermi Gamma Ray Observatory, whose mission is to search for dark matter (NASA)

Fermi gamma ray telescope

join Fermi To the ranks of space telescopes in the summer of 2008, it gave astronomers their best ever view of the most extreme energy in the universe, gamma rays.

Gamma rays result from large cosmic phenomena including dark matter, black holes, and rotating pulsars.

Not long after reaching orbit, Fermi mapped the entire sky showing gamma rays from many sources, including our Sun.

The Fermi team used the map to compile a list of the top 5 sources of gamma rays in the universe.

An imaginary drawing of the Swift telescope in space (NASA)

Swift Gamma Ray Telescope

Like Fermi, it does Swift It also scans the sky for gamma rays, specifically looking for gamma ray bursts, which are the most powerful explosions in the universe. Gamma bursts flash for a few seconds before turning into a glow of X-rays, ultraviolet light and visible light.

In 2007, Swift observed huge explosions with the longest afterglow ever recorded, lasting more than 125 days.

Swift also recorded the most distant cosmic explosion ever seen, a gamma-ray burst from a star that died when the universe was only 630 million years old, or less than 5% of the age of the current universe.

On October 17, 2002, the European Space Agency’s Integral mission was launched to detect gamma rays. (European Space Agency)

Integral telescope

Integration or the International Gamma-ray Astrophysics Laboratory of the European Space Agency; The first space observatory that can observe objects in gamma rays, X-rays and visible light simultaneously.

Integral, like Fermi and Swift, is tasked with searching for gamma-ray bursts, but it also monitors supernova explosions, and monitors regions of the universe believed to contain black holes.

Astronomers hope that Integral’s observations will help them learn more about how elements are formed when a star dies, and could help us better understand the supermassive black hole lurking at the center of our galaxy.

A model of the Newton space telescope is displayed in the Space City in Toulouse, France (communication sites)

Newton’s telescope

It is an observatory named after the English physicist Isaac Newton, and its instruments allow for long and continuous observations of the universe, and it is specialized in discovering more X-ray sources than any previous observatory.

Newton discovered galaxies billions of light-years away from Earth, observed magnetars (a strange type of neutron star) and star-forming regions, and investigated what happens inside and around black holes.

Galaxy was launched in 2003 and observed more than half a billion planets and stars (All About Space Magazine)

Galaxy Observatory

The main mission ofGalaxy NASA’s mission to help better understand galaxy formation is to study the shape, brightness, size, and distance between galaxies outside the universe.

Since its launch, it has photographed more than half a billion planets and stars by scanning two-thirds of the visible sky.

Galaxy discovered star formation in unexpected regions of the universe, and also discovered an ancient, fast-moving star called a red giant.

An imaginative drawing of the SOHO spacecraft (NASA)

SOHO telescope

It is designed to study the structure and dynamics of the Sun’s interior, as well as the solar wind, a stream of charged particles emitted from the Sun’s upper atmosphere.

Understanding these solar phenomena is key to better predicting space weather, such as solar flares that can affect electrical and communications networks here on Earth.

So far, SOHO has taken the first images of the sun’s convection zone, shown the structure of sunspots under the sun’s surface, discovered new phenomena such as solar hurricanes, and also observed 1,500 new comets.

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