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The Hubble Space Telescope will see much further into the universe than has ever been possible before. Freed from the obscuring effects of the atmosphere the optical system at the heart of the spacecraft will enable the telescope’s mirror to resolve details ten times better than any instrument on the ground. When it’s installed in the space telescope this mirror is set to revolutionise our vision of the universe. Horizon: Beyond the Moon, BBC 1984
A revolution in astronomy ... This is the Hubble Space Telescope. Horizon: The Sharpest Show of the Universe, BBC 1990
The cost will now be several billion dollars. ibid.
Two stars: the space telescope will distinguish them clearly. ibid.
Is there anyone out there? ibid.
Marshall’s design called for the finest mirrors ever made. ibid.
The [Hubble] telescope’s computer has very little memory. ibid.
NASA Goddard will have control over an expected fifteen years of operation. ibid.
The [Hubble] telescope will tell us how far away such objects are; just how far back in time, and so measure the age of the universe. ibid.
Five instruments, and by the end of 1985 all the instruments have been installed. ibid.
The improved camera won’t be ready until 1993. ibid.
NASA’s promise – a window on the universe; it turns out our view is blurred. Horizon: Small Problem with the Mirror, BBC 1991
It was soon after the telescope was launched that NASA admitted to a blunder. Ten years before by a simple mistake with a measuring instrument the mirror had been ground to the wrong prescription. Horizon: Hubble’s Vision, BBC 1994
The Hubble Space Telescope has revolutionised the way we look and think about the universe and our place in it. Hubble: The Ultimate Telescope 2010
A giant telescope in orbit will capture the light fresh from the stars themselves. It will also test the limits of Earth-bound engineering. ibid.
Hubble is one of the twentieth century’s great feats of engineering. ibid.
It takes engineers four million man-hours to design and build the mirrors. ibid.
Discovery blasts off and carries Hubble six hundred kilometres up. ibid.
Short-sighted: the vast primary concave mirror is too flat. ibid.
One humble washer in the wrong place has wrecked Hubble’s accuracy. ibid.
NASA must fix Hubble ... They need to fit a series of lenses or mirrors that will cancel out the flaw in the main mirror. ibid.
Hubble begins unveiling celestial objects in breathtaking detail. ibid.
Subsequent deep-field surveys probe even further back. ibid.
Hubble reveals where Dark Matter exists. ibid.
Out there hidden from the naked eye is a universe we barely understand. There are stars being born, black holes, perhaps even new forms of life. But now astronomers are able to see the cosmos as never before. They are creating a new breed of super-telescope of unprecedented power and clarity. Horizon: Seeing Stars, BBC 2011
The Atacama Desert, Chile ... To locate this black hole astronomers will be using one of the most powerful telescopes ever built: the VLT, the Very Large Telescope. ibid.
The VLT can capture vast amounts of infra-red from space. ibid.
Meet SOFIA ... The world’s largest mobile astronomical observatory with an infra-red telescope beneath the bulge. ibid.
SOFIA and her seventeen-ton telescope is heading for the stratosphere. ibid.
They are working on one of the most advanced telescopes ever – the James Webb Telescope. Possibly the ultimate exploration machine. ibid.
The latest infra-red telescopes are ushering in a golden age of astronomy. ibid.
This is extreme astronomy. ibid.
A giant array known as ALMA. When it is finished sixty-six dishes will operate as one, the equivalent of an antenna ten-miles across. ibid.
Nobody knows which objects in the universe produce cosmic rays. ibid.
Two ground-breaking new instruments have been installed on Hubble. They were designed to peer into deepest space and find black holes ... They were tightly clustered over the centre of South America and the south Atlantic. In fact this region of space has developed a reputation of NASA as a region of strange events ... Space’s Bermuda Triangle ... It also held important clues as to what’s happening in the deep Earth. Horizon: The Core, BBC 2011
The Hubble space telescope went on to produce the most magnificent images of the universe the world had ever seen. The Final Frontier: A Horizon Guide to the Universe, BBC 2012
This beautiful imagery of our universe isn’t an artist’s impression but visualisations using data from a telescope that orbits above our heads in space. A telescope that has transformed our view of the cosmos. The world’s most famous telescope: Hubble. In orbit since April 1990 Hubble has travelled further than 6.5 billion kilometres around Earth. Horizon: Hubble: The Wonders of Space Revealed, BBC 2020
A team of daring astronauts risked their lives in a series of dangerous and challenging missions to keep Hubble working. ibid.
The outer edge of the main mirror had been made too flat. The solution would involve the most spectacular mission attempted by NASA since the Apollo moon landings. ibid.
This is the Hooker Telescope on Mount Wilson, just a couple of hours from Los Angeles. In the 1920s this was the best telescope in the world. And it’s the instrument that Edwin Hubble chose for his survey of galaxies. Hubble’s twin weapons were the sheer volume of data he collected and an ability to cut through it to see what it meant. In the 1920s Hubble helped solve a huge debate about the size of the universe. Using this telescope Hubble proved that the universe was much bigger than anyone had thought, filled with galaxies some of them unimaginable distances from the Earth. Dr Janet Sumner, interview The Cosmos: A Beginner’s Guide, BBC 2007
So there was a camera attached to the telescope. And with it Hubble photographs stars at the far reaches of the Milky Way. At that time the only known galaxy in the universe. On 6th October 1923 Hubble took a photograph that must rank as one of the most significant photographs ever taken. This photograph demonstrated for the first time just how vast the universe truly is. (Universe & Astronomy & Telescope & Stars & Photograph) Michael Mosley, The Story of Science, BBC 2010
Telescopes are in some ways like time machines. They reveal galaxies so far away that their light has taken billions of years to reach us. We in astronomy have an advantage in studying the universe, in that we can actually see the past.
We owe our existence to stars, because they make the atoms of which we are formed. So if you are romantic you can say we are literally star-stuff. If you’re less romantic you can say we’re the nuclear waste from the fuel that makes stars shine.
We’ve made so many advances in our understanding. A few centuries ago, the pioneer navigators learnt the size and shape of our Earth, and the layout of the continents. We are now just learning the dimensions and ingredients of our entire cosmos, and can at last make some sense of our cosmic habitat. Martin Rees
This giant piece of sadly rusting machinery is the Bell Labs horn antenna in New Jersey. It is in fact a radio telescope ... It was used in the 1960s to make one of the most important discoveries in the history of science. Two researchers Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson ... [heard] a faint persistent hiss they couldn’t get rid of, and it was there in every direction the antenna pointed. There was only one viable explanation. The noise was the sound of radiation, the afterglow of Gamov’s Big Bang. Here at last was final proof that Gamov was right: the Big Bang had to have happened. Jim Al-Khalili, Atom: The Key to the Cosmos, BBC 2008
Galileo went on to develop a more powerful telescope. And with it use the ability to bend light to change our perspective on the cosmos. Professor Jim Al-Khalili, Light and Dark, BBC 2013