It is perhaps an astronomy nerd’s greatest dream – a space telescope. As the name implies, these scopes are launched into space and orbit the Earth as satellites. Up there, their sight is free from any atmospheric disturbance, meaning pollution and weather, and they are free to observe points in the sky with greater detail. Furthermore, NASA and other organizations don’t send a beginner’s scope into the sky. Space telescopes often have the most advanced mirror and imaging technology available.
Perhaps the king of these scopes is the Hubble. Loads of fanfare and excitement occurred when the scope was launched and with good reason. Since 1990 when the scope was launched by the space shuttle Discovery, the scope has produced a cornucopia of images that have become very popular including its beautiful close up of the Eagle Nebula. This didn’t occur without a few set backs – within weeks a flawed mirror meant another mission into space to give the scope a set of “glasses” to correct its vision.
The Hubble has allowed scientists to peer deeper into the galaxy than other before. Its deep space images have shown us galaxies billions of light years away, which has helped answer questions about the formation and the overall composition in the universe.
While this is very impressive, space telescopes are controversial. They are very expensive to build and maintain and new ground technologies are making these telescope less competitive. It remains to be seen whether these scopes will be the future or the past of space imaging technology.
You can easily find the best selection of Celestron telescopes.
A refractor telescope offers some of the best star gazing possible.