Johnson Space Center / NASA
The Mike Brown Hubble Space Telescope has been in regular use for the past three decades since its launch in 1990. But recently he had an experience Hubble He had never had one before.
BrownThe Caltech astronomer has been given permission to use Hubble to conduct a detailed study of Jupiter’s four largest moons. These moons Galilean moonsBecause Galileo Galilei discovered them in 1610.
They include: Ganymede, which is larger than Mercury and has a Nigu magnetic field; Io, the largest volcanic eruption site in the Solar System; Europe has more liquid water than Earth; Callisto, this is a simple all-crescent moon.
After Hubble assumed Ganymede had been tested, the data beam was downed, processed, and emailed to Brown. He opened it eagerly. There was nothing there.
I tried to observe Ganymede with the Hubble Space Telescope, and the data looked like empty skies. Did anyone kill it before it got to Ganymede? I would be very angry. I ess think this would also be an HST pointing failure. But I hope it will be ruined if 2020 is given.
– Mike Brown (l Pluto Killer) August 27, 2020
He immediately thought to himself, “What have I done this time?” That is, as he puts it, “as a scientist you always do something, when you see something that doesn’t work.”
He checked and re-examined the instructions he had sent to Hubble. They did well.
However, it turns out that Hubble is pointing the finger at the wrong patch in the sky. Brown says two more such errors occurred while trying to observe Jupiter’s moons.
“I don’t know if it’s unusual three times a week, but it feels unusual to me,” says Brown.
Tom Brown, Has nothing to do with the head of the Hubble Mission Office at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore and Mike Brown – who says Hubble is sometimes headed in the wrong direction.
“It happens on a one-percent basis,” he says. “These days, it’s happening like five percent of the time.”
Hubble Space Telescope video footage of Juniper’s largest moon Ganymede passing behind Jupiter! Surprisingly, not CGI: It was made from 540 images taken in 2 hours in April 2007. Attribution: NASA, ESA, e. Carcosco (U.S. Arizona), g. pic.twitter.com/AIulIgvWJk
– Dr. James O’Donoghue (ys Physics J) August 23, 2020
This is an aging telescope. In 2018, when a gyroscope about Hubble failed, researchers Activated One of its on-board spares called Gyroscope 3. This is a breakdown from the trip.
“It tells you it’s moving even without a telescope,” Brown explains.
Telescope operators fix this error, but sometimes it crashes before things can be adjusted.
A frustrated researcher can submit a request for a da-over, and they will generally finally get their data – assuming they are not trying to see a cosmic event that is brief once in a million years.
No one knows why Gyroscope 3 is such a pain, says Brown, that it could get worse and have to be turned off.
“Then the biggest disadvantage is that instead of the whole sky being available at one time, half the sky will be available at any given time,” he says.
However, Hubble will remain very popular. Hundreds of teams use the telescope every year. They are lucky because most of the proposed observations have to be rejected.
As studied, Hubble is currently used for fields that did not exist even when launched Planets It orbits distant stars.
“Hubble is truly a unique resource for mankind. Once it’s gone — that’s a lot of people are already scared that day – but I think it’s going to affect people when it’s gone … hard,” Brown says.
Engineers currently estimate that Hubble will last at least five more years.