Since Neil Armstrong stepped foot on the moon, it has been every kid’s dream to visit outer space. Kids and adults alike have studied the universe for generations only wishing they could see more and get the true outer space experience.
What would you say if I told you that the most incredible instrument ever created to study the universe was inspired by the discoveries of a lawyer who served in WWI? That’s right. Edwin Hubble had first become a lawyer and served our country during WWI before deciding that his heart truly belonged to astronomy. He said that,”Even if I were second rate or third rate, it was astronomy that mattered.”
In 1929, Dr. Hubble made an amazing discovery we now know as the “expanding universe” theory. It states that the farther a galaxy is from the Earth, the faster it appears to move away. It was this theory that eventually formed the basis for the famous Big Bang Theory. This is why scientists chose to name the Hubble Telescope after him.
Fast-forward to April 24,1990; the Hubble Telescope is launched into space after years of development and funding battles. Scientists had finally found a way to create a telescope that would orbit the Earth and allow us to get a front row seat to the universe around us. Hubble has given astronomers insight into quasars, dark energy, and has even helped more accurately estimate the age of the universe to be roughly 13-14 billion years old.
The original idea for a space telescope came from two gentlemen; the Father of Rocketry, Hermann Oberth in 1923 and astrophysicist Lyman Spitzer in 1946. Both had similar ideas for creating a telescope that was sent into outer space in order to better study the universe, however, it was Spitzer who would prove to be the more successful of the two. It was his work that was the driving force behind the Copernicus satellite as well as the Orbiting Astronomical Observatory. In 1977, Congress finally approved funding for the development and construction of Hubble.
One of the most amazing facts about this incredible piece of scientific history is that Hubble uses solar panels to power its equipment and instruments. These ginormous panels measure eight feet by 40 feet and provide enough power to charge the craft’s batteries during its time in the sunlit portion of its orbit. These batteries are then used to power the equipment during the night portion of the orbit. As you can imagine, there have been several missions to replace damaged panels in order to keep Hubble in working order.
We were so excited when we discovered that the Hubble Telescope made use of solar energy while in outer space. It seems there is nowhere in the universe where solar energy cannot be of great use. If you are considering adding solar panels to your home or business, give Solar 360 a call. We’ll be happy to explain the process to you and give you a great deal on your equipment and installation.