Hubble is the Jay-Z of the telescope, space observatory does not want to retire.
Despite its intention to hang its mirror this year, the Hubble Space Telescope has taken on a tough new task instead – cataloging all stars in the Milky Way and other stars in nearby galaxies.
This will be the biggest observational effort made by this 30-year-old telescope.
The Space Telescope Management Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland has launched a new initiative with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to create a library of spectral samples of young, mass stars. low from the eight star-forming regions of the Milky Way and the massive stars in nearby dwarf galaxies.
The new project, called ULLYSES (Young Stars̵7; Essential UV Inheritance Library), will do over 1,000 Hubble orbits around Earth, taking about 97 minutes.
After cataloging the stars to be targeted, it is likely that the final product will include details about about 300 stars.
“One of the main goals of ULLYSES is to create a complete reference template that can be used to create spectral libraries that record the diversity of stars, ensuring a legacy dataset for a single the range of astrophysics topics, “Julia Roman-Duval, head of the ULLYSES program, said in a statement.
“ULLYSES is expected to have a lasting impact on future research by astronomers around the world.”
The ULLYSES program takes advantage of Hubble’s unique imaging capabilities, as both high-mass and low-mass stars have different complex Ultraviolet (UV) emission processes that affect their surroundings. . They are also difficult to model, according to the researchers.
Young stars emit a lot of energy in UV emissions when they eat surrounding gas and dust.
The Hubble is the right telescope for the job. The space telescope is located in the Earth’s atmosphere and filters most of the UV radiation from space before it reaches terrestrial telescopes.
Space Heritage – Stars are the main building blocks of the universe, releasing the heavy chemical elements that feed their galaxies.
By creating a catalog that includes the spectral patterns of the stars, astronomers hope to gain a better understanding of how stars are born and how they affect the formation and development of planets. and the galaxy around them.
“This unique collection allows for diverse and interesting astrophysics research across many fields,” says Roman-Duval.
The team behind ULLYSeS is designing new software that allows them to create databases and web interfaces to share their portfolio with the larger astrophysics community to ensure access to the initiative’s data. .
Hubble forever – The Hubble space telescope was launched into low-Earth orbit in 1990, and it remains one of the largest and most versatile space telescopes to this day.
The telescope has been around for 30 years and is about to be retired for a long time. Originally, it was intended to work offline this year, but the date has been pushed to 2025.
Hubble is expected to be replaced with the James Webb Telescope, which has been in operation for more than a decade.
The James Webb telescope has endured many delays, with an initial launch time scheduled for 2018, then pushed back to 2020, though that’s not stuck either.
Now, NASA has set the launch date as October 31, 2021.
If it finally reached space, the James Webb Telescope would be the most powerful space telescope ever designed, with the ability to observe objects very far away in the universe, opening up the history of the universe. pillar.