WASHINGTON, April 26 (UPI) — The U.S. space agency says it is celebrating the Hubble Space Telescope’s two decades in orbit with several online educational activities.
Hubble was launched April 24, 1990, aboard space shuttle Discovery, NASA said, noting Hubble’s discoveries have revolutionized nearly all areas of current astronomical research, from planetary science to cosmology.
Although the space telescope has had several technical problems, the space agency said Hubble scientists, engineers and NASA astronauts were able to upgrade the instrument and it now is 100 times more powerful than when it was launched.
NASA said Hubble fans can take an interactive online journey with Hubble at http://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/Hubble20/.
They can also visit http://www.hubblesite.org to explore the ways the telescope has affected them.
The public also will have an opportunity to become at-home scientists by helping astronomers sort the thousands of galaxies seen by Hubble. NASA and the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore are partnering with a consortium of scientists to launch an Internet-based astronomy project in which amateur astronomers can peruse and sort galaxies seen by Hubble into their classic shapes: spiral, elliptical and irregular. More information on that project is available at http://www.hubble.galaxyzoo.org.
For educators and students, the Space Telescope Science Institute is creating an educational Web site that offers, among other things, links to facts and trivia about Hubble. It’s available at http://amazing-space.stsci.edu/hubble_20.
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