Hubble Space Telescope is living his last year before retirement, leaving space to James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) to take over in 2021. Hubble has done an amazing job for us out there. A lot of what astronomers know today is due to Hubble’s performance. And now, even though it looks like it is out of date when compared to James’ abilities, it has done it again.
A clear picture of galaxy NGC 4618, situated at 21 million light-years from the Milky Way and into the constellation Canes Venatici. Discovered by William Herschel in 1787, the singled-arm spiral galaxy has never been seen with such clarity. It’s no little thing to have been discovered by Herschel. He is the one who made us all aware of Uranus’s existence. Georgian star was Uranus’s name back in those days, named after King George III.
Single-Armed Galaxy Snapped By The Hubble Space Telescope
NGC 4618 was one of the proofs Herschel got that attested to the existence of other galaxies. They were defined as galaxies later, in 1787 they were just large clusters of stars. So, Herschel never knew just how big his observations were. Even bigger than finding Uranus. But today, we do.
But let’s not become sentimental. Science and sentimentality don’t bind. Hubble needs to be replaced if we were to continue our journey into space. James has a greater power than Hubble to look back into the future. While Hubble could see as far as one billion years after the Big Bang, James will do it up to 0.3 billion years after it, in those times when the light was just being born.
Hubble is also taking many more risks in its mission. It will be all alone out there, with no one to help it if things go wrong. It will be stationed at a distance that will make any intervention impossible: 1.5 million kilometers from Earth. As opposed to Hubble’s placement at just 570,000 kilometers. So, fingers crossed for James.