How Many Telescopes Does NASA Have and Use?


NASA operates about a dozen major research telescopes around the world. These telescopes range from small portable units to some of the most powerful telescopes ever built. NASA also funds research and operates other observatories in international cooperation with other space agencies and organizations. Astronomers use telescopes to study objects in space. Telescopes gather and focus light from distant objects. An object in the sky appears more significant and detailed when viewed through a telescope. Telescopes can look at some things that cannot be seen with the naked eye, such as very far away stars.

Most large and powerful telescopes are made of large mirrors. These mirrors are shaped to gather and focus light from space into one place where it can be seen. When a telescope gathers greater light from an object, it makes the thing appear brighter on the telescope's screen. Here we'll discuss some telescopes that does NASA have and use.

Why a Space Telescope?

The space telescope helps understand objects in space by viewing them over long periods and at different wavelengths. The telescope can look at a feature that cannot be seen with the naked eye, the same way the human eye cannot see at night. Some of the studied objects may be several light years away from Earth. This means they must be viewed for several years to be seen properly on a telescope. A space telescope can view an object for years, even decades, before it moves out of view.

NASA has many different satellites and spacecraft. Satellites collect data that tell us new things, and they look at objects from Earth. Space telescopes gather information about space, including far away stars and planets. Astronomers use space telescopes to discover how stars are born, what they are made of, and how they change over time. They also use space telescopes to see planets around other stars (exoplanets), faraway galaxies, or black holes at the center of other galaxies.

#1: Hubble Space Telescope

Hubble's telescope has been studied and improved for a long time. It was launched into space by NASA in May 1990. Its primary mirror is about 2.4 meters (8 feet) across and weighs about 1,397 kilograms (3,067 pounds).

The 40-inch mirror is made of glass that has been ground and polished. It is coated with an optical coating to prevent scratches. The telescope's mirror is fixed to an aluminum frame that supports the mirror and four movable secondary mirrors. The telescope uses powerful lights to push the mirror back and forth by an electric motor. The motors are guided by science instruments attached to the ends of the telescope.

#3: Broad Band X-ray Telescope / Astro 1

Astronomers use the Astro 1 telescope to measure the distances to supernovas, distant galaxies, and young stars. A star explodes and sends out a shock wave that radiates in all directions. When this shock wave reaches Earth, we see it as X-rays. Astronomers use X-rays to calculate the distance between Earth and these far away objects. They use astrometry to pin down the positions of these objects for years at a time.

Astro-1 is part of the X-ray telescope in space. The primary mission of the Astro 1 telescope is to explore how the universe is evolving by looking at distant X-ray sources, black holes, neutron stars, supernova remnants, and other objects found in deep space. NASA launched this telescope into space in 1994 on a Pegasus rocket. It was the first balloon-borne X-ray observatory. The telescope has a mirror of about one and a half meters (4 feet) across and weighs about 3,500 kilograms (7,000 pounds).

#4: Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer (EUVE)

The Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer (EUVE) is a space telescope that studies the early universe and black holes. It was launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on 2001-12-11. The telescope is about 2.5 meters (8 feet) across and weighs about 1,900 kilograms (4,000 pounds). It is made of a hexagonal set of mirrors that reflect light into four separate optical paths to its detector system. The spacecraft has a camera that takes pictures of the telescope and sends them to Earth. The Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, operates the telescope.

EUVE's primary mission is to explore objects and phenomena in space, including supernovas and black holes. It will observe the cradles of new stars, galaxies, quasars, and other objects found in deep space for about five years.

#5: Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope

Fermi's gamma-ray telescope is part of the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope Mission. The satellite was launched on 2002-09-01 by an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. It was the first spacecraft to fly close to Earth and study high-energy gamma rays. After it was launched, the satellite began studying gamma rays that come from space, just like those from other Earth sources.

The space telescope helps study our galaxy, the stars in it, and its billions of galaxies. This telescope can see things that are far away from Earth. The space telescope helps understand energy sources in space. We use the space telescope to understand all these energy sources and how they create matter.

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