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Artistic rendering of Hubble in space
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Hubble in partial view with planet in distant background.
Artistic rendering of Hubble with planet in partial view in background.

Picture Credit: NASA, Fact Credit: University of Arizona,

Hubble Facts: 

- Hubble Space Telescope is about the size of a large school bus.

- It weighs 24,500 pounds. That’s just under two adult male African bush elephants.

- Hubble gathers energy from the sun using two 25-foot solar panels. It requires much less power than one might think, averaging 2,100 watts of power usage. A hair dryer requires about 1,800 watts.

- Hubble orbits the Earth at a cruising speed of 17,000 miles per hour, and takes 15 minutes to rotate 90 degrees.

- Hubble has observed locations more than 13.4 billion light years away, meaning it has seen light that existed in the universe 13.4 billion years ago.

- Astronomers using Hubble data have published more than 13,000 journal articles, making it one of the most productive scientific instruments ever built.

Hubble, the observatory, is the first major optical telescope to be placed in space, the ultimate mountaintop. Above the distortion of the atmosphere, far far above rain clouds and light pollution, Hubble has an unobstructed view of the universe. Scientists have used Hubble to observe the most distant stars and galaxies as well as the planets in our solar system.


Hubble's launch and deployment in April 1990 marked the most significant advance in astronomy since Galileo's telescope. Thanks to five servicing missions and more than 25 years of operation, our view of the universe and our place within it has never been the same.

Credit: NatGEO Kids & NASA

Related Papers:

de Wit, J., Wakeford H., Gillon, M., Lewis N., Valenti, J., et al. (2016), Nature, 537, 69, Press Release

“A combined transmission spectrum of the Earth-sized exoplanets TRAPPIST-1 b and c”

Bourrier, V., … de Wit, J., et al. (2017), A&A, 599, L3

“Reconnaissance of the TRAPPIST-1 exoplanet system in the Lyman-alpha line”

Bourrier, V., de Wit, J., et al. (2017), AJ, 154, 3, 121

“Temporal evolution of the high-energy irradiation and water content of TRAPPIST-1 exoplanets”

de Wit, J., Wakeford H., Lewis N., et al. (2018), Nature Astronomy, 2, 214. Press Release

“Atmospheric Reconnaissance of TRAPPIST-1’s Habitable-zone Earth-sized Exoplanets”

Wakeford, H., et al…, de Wit, J., (2018), AJ, 157, 1

“Disentangling the planet from the star in late type Mdwarfs: A case study of TRAPPIST-1g”

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