When the Hubble Space Telescope was built in the 1970s and ‘80s, the mirror was assembled and ground well below Arizona Stadium, in Tucson. We don’t know how far below but you have to imagine that to construct precisely built very large mirrors you’d have to eliminate vibratons from above (which might not be that hard now since Arizona football has been on an epic losing streak of 20 games which it finally broke Saturday but partly because Covid and other problems limited Cal to just 42 players. Four coaches were also positive despite the team having a vaccination rate of 99 percent).
When the Hubble first went up people were breathless with anticipation but there was a problem: it was nearsighted. The mirror was slightly off.
Fortunately it was fixed with a prescription lens, if you will, and once that was in place, we began to see miraculous things.
Things like this, or this, or maybe most of all, this.
Although Hubble is currently having an issue it should be fixed and the telescope should work for at least a couple of more decades. Or so we hope.
It’s been a revolution and beyond anything most people could have dreamed of.
But now we may be about to go a step beyond Hubble. In fact, in a matter of weeks, we may see things that even Hubble would never have allowed us to consider seeing.
That’s because in about six weeks, a new telescope called the James Webb Space Telescope, is due to launch and it will be dramatically more powerful than the Hubble.
This video outlines its stunning potential.
Soon, we may all be like Howard Carter when he first looked into Tutankhamen’s tomb: “...as my eyes grew accustomed to the light, details of the room within emerged slowly from the mist, strange animals, statues, and gold - everywhere the glint of gold. For the moment - an eternity it must have seemed to the others standing by - I was struck dumb with amazement, and when Lord Carnarvon, unable to stand the suspense any longer, inquired anxiously, ‘Can you see anything?’ it was all I could do to get out the words, ‘Yes, wonderful things.”
Soon, if everything works as planned, we should all see wonderful things too.