Hubble's Improving Vision Since the First Servicing Mission 25 Years Ago
These three images are of the central region of the magnificent spiral galaxy M100, taken with three generations of the Hubble Space Telescope cameras that were sequentially swapped out aboard the telescope, and document the consistently improving capability of the observatory.
The image on the left was taken with the Wide Field/Planetary Camera 1 in 1993. The photo is blurry due to a manufacturing flaw (called spherical aberration) in Hubble's primary mirror. Celestial images could not be brought into a single focus. [Credit: NASA, ESA, and Judy Schmidt]
The middle image was taken in late 1993 with Wide Field/Planetary Camera 2 that was installed during the Dec. 2-13 space shuttle servicing mission (SM1, STS-61). The camera contained corrective optics to compensate for the mirror flaw, and so the galaxy snapped into sharp focus when photographed. [Credit: NASA, ESA, and J. DePasquale (STScI)]
The image on the right was taken with a newer instrument, Wide Field Camera 3, that was installed on Hubble during the space shuttle Servicing Mission 4 in May 2009. [Credit: NASA, ESA, and Judy Schmidt]
In celebration of the 25th anniversary of NASA's first space servicing mission to Hubble, these comparison photos of one of the telescope's first targets are being released today.
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.
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