When you gaze up at the night sky, you may see stars twinkling back at you, but is the nursery rhyme correct? Do stars really twinkle? We know that our own star, the Sun, doesn’t twinkle, but how about the other stars we see at night? The truth is, stars appear to twinkle due to the distortion of their light caused by Earth’s atmosphere before it reaches us. This is also why ground-based telescopes don’t always give us a clear image as they too have to view through the atmospheric haze. Hence, the need for space-based eyes to see the universe as it truly is.
In this Factnomenal video, we take a journey through the history of space telescopes and what they have revealed to us about the vast expanse of space. It all began in July 1958 when Arthur received a telegram from the National Academy of Sciences’ newly-formed Space Science Board. The agency was requesting Arthur, an astronomer at the University of Wisconsin, to submit ideas for a satellite to study the heavens.
Since then, space telescopes have become our windows into the universe, capturing breathtaking images and groundbreaking discoveries. From the Hubble Space Telescope, which has provided us with incredible views of galaxies far, far away, to the Chandra X-ray Observatory, which has revealed the most energetic events in the universe, these technological marvels have expanded our understanding of the cosmos.
But it’s not just about pretty pictures. Space telescopes have allowed us to observe and study celestial phenomena that are invisible to the human eye, such as black holes, dark matter, and exoplanets. They have also helped us to unravel the mysteries of the universe’s origin and evolution, bringing us closer to answering the big questions of our existence.
In conclusion, these space telescopes have not only expanded our knowledge but have also ignited our curiosity and sense of wonder about the vastness and complexity of the universe. They are a testament to human ingenuity and a reminder that there is still so much to discover and explore beyond our planet.