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Human eyes on the Universe:
The Hubble Space Telescope is Not Alone
Hubble is not alone up there in space. In fact, some two dozen space telescopes of various sizes and shapes have been peering out across the Universe from orbits around Earth and our star, the Sun.
Each has given us a clear view of faraway objects across the cosmos unobstructed by Earth's murky, turbulent atmosphere.
These telescopes advance human science, but most are not as well known as the famous Hubble Space Telescope.
Each has its own assignment to see bands of light invisible to the human eye. Some of those forms of light never reach the surface of Earth. They are blocked by Earth's atmosphere.
There are entire families of objects and phenomena in deep space that can be seen only only through these special windows on the Universe.
Black holes are an example. They were discovered in X-ray "light." That non-visible form of light energy is radiation generated by the swirling gas surrounding and object just before it descended into the abyss inside a black hole.
Telescopes also have captured microwave radiation – the primary physical evidence for the Big Bang.
Some space telescopes:
A future space telescope:
- Spitzer Space Telescope
- Chandra X-ray Observatory
- Galaxy Evolution Explorer
- Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe
- Swift Gamma Ray Burst Mission
- International Gamma Ray Astrophysics Laboratory
- Rossi XTE
- Suzaku (Astro-E2)
- ARIEL V
- VELA 5B
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