Hubble is not retiring: how the older space telescope will work after the launch of the Webb telescope

The Hubble telescope, launched more than 30 years ago, first showed humanity distant galaxies unreachable by other observational instruments. However, Hubble’s glory has now been taken over by the James Webb telescope, which can see even further. Does this mean that Hubble’s work has come to an end?

According to the scientists, they will still need Hubble for further space exploration. Cornell University astronomer Nikole Lewis is looking for exactly the properties Hubble has that the Webb Telescope lacks. She studies exoplanets and intends to use visible and ultraviolet light in her work. The Webb telescope is insensitive to these types of light.

Hubble remains the best for studying galaxies that move along the X and Y axes. This unique feature of the telescope has allowed us to learn about galaxies in great detail.

For example, after studying the Andromeda galaxy for many years with the help of the Hubble telescope, scientists proved that it does not just revolve around ours, but approaches it. Will these two galaxies ever collide? It is not known whether Webb would have shown it.

Part of the Andromeda Galaxy photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope. Source: NASA

Although the Webb Telescope will continue to send detailed pictures of deep space, it is not a replacement for Hubble, but rather its successor. The telescopes will work in tandem.

Hubble also set the stage for research with the new telescope. Webb’s science program will build on Hubble’s thirty-year legacy. In addition, it motivated a generation of young scientists.

“The Hubble deep field image was inspiring to me when I was growing up aand helped contribute to what would continue to be a lifelong fascination with space and space exploration,” says Jason Rabinovitch, former Jet Propulsion Laboratory engineer and a professor at Stevens Institute of Technology.

The Hubble Deep Field is an image of a small area of ​​the sky in the Ursa Major constellation. Almost all 3,000 objects in the photo are galaxies. Source: NASA
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