View Full Version : Discussion: Hubble Helps with New Measurement ...

2003-Aug-07, 08:35 AM
SUMMARY: Thanks to the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers are using ancient stars in the Milky Way to come up with an independent estimate about the age of the Universe. In the past, astronomers have calculated this age using its rate of expansion, and pegged it between 13-14 billion years old. Under this new method, the astronomers targeted ancient white dwarf stars which cool down at a very predictable rate. These stars were formed near the beginning of the Universe, and the astronomers were able to estimate that they are between 12-13 billion years old. Close enough.

Comments or questions about this story? Feel free to share your thoughts.

Juan D. Rodríguez
2003-Aug-07, 10:32 PM

I have some thoughts about the future of HST that I would like to explain:

1.- It´s not easy to send a Space Telescope into orbit (a lot of money is needed, it´s a very difficult task, etc, etc...). But since 1990 Hubble is in space and working! So we shoud look after it as long as possible, in the same way we conserve carefully our books, art and, in general, own culture. Hubble Space Telescope is a part of our culture, so I think we should use it as long as possible to obtain scientific data. There is going to be only one Hubble Space Telescope and we are the fortunate generation of people that will "personally" know this venerable observatory. We should wait as long as possible to deorbit it: if it can work, lets keep it operating!

2.- There is no problem with having two -or more- space telescopes working at the same time (HST and James Webb Space Telescope). The mission of JWST is not replacing HST! People that is working with Chandra, XMM-Newton, or another telescopes that study the Universe in X-rays or gamma rays need HST. And probably JWST should need data from Hubble Space Telescope to study quite a lot of astronomical objects.

3.- JWST is not in Space. We don´t know if the launch of this new generation space telescope is going to be a success. If we deorbit HST before and there is some trouble with JWST... we will have no "backup".

Juan D. Rodriguez.

Juan D. Rodriguez
2003-Aug-08, 02:04 PM

Sorry, I posted the last comment in the wrong place! :rolleyes: I´m going to repeat it at "What to do with Hubble?"