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Hubble makes one millionth science observation


This is an artist's concept of planet HAT-P-7b. Hubble Space Telescope's millionth science observation was trained on this planet to look for the presence of water vapor and to study the planet's atmospheric structure via spectroscopy. Photo: NASA; ESA; G. Bacon, STScI.

WASHINGTON (BNS): NASA's Hubble Space Telescope crossed another milestone in its space odyssey of exploration and discovery. Recently, the Earth-orbiting observatory logged its one millionth science observation during a search for water in an exoplanet's atmosphere 1,000 light-years away.

Although best known for its stunning imagery of the cosmos, Hubble's millionth observation was a spectroscopic measurement, where light is divided into its component colours, taken Monday during a search for water in an exoplanet's atmosphere 1,000 light-years away, a NASA release said Tuesday.

"For 21 years Hubble has been the premier space science observatory, astounding us with deeply beautiful imagery and enabling ground-breaking science across a wide spectrum of astronomical disciplines. The fact that Hubble met this milestone while studying a faraway planet is a remarkable reminder of its strength and legacy," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, was quoted as saying in the release.

Hubble's millionth exposure is of the planet HAT-P-7b, a gas giant planet larger than Jupiter orbiting a star hotter than our sun. HAT-P-7b, also known as Kepler 2b, has been studied by NASA's planet-hunting Kepler observatory after it was discovered by ground-based observations. Hubble now is being used to analyse the chemical composition of the planet’s atmosphere.

Hubble was launched April 24, 1990, aboard space shuttle's Discovery's STS-31 mission. Its discoveries revolutionised nearly all areas of astronomical research from planetary science to cosmology. The observatory has collected more than 50 terabytes of data to-date.

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NASA  Hubble  Observation  

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