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07-22-2021, 11:41 AM - 1 Like   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michael Piziak Quote
Something came across my pee sized mind, which is the question: I wonder if the camera/sensor on the Hubble is upgradeable - ?
In the article I read on NASA's site, it said only one of the original sensors the satellite launched with are still in use, the rest have already been replaced/upgraded. So the technical answer is yes.

On the other hand, the James Web space telescope has a much more massive mirror system and different sensors to look deeper into the cosmos. The Giant Magellan Telescope is under construction, and is terrestrial telescope that is also supposed to surpass Hubble. One of the reasons Hubble is so awesome is because it doesn't have to worry about atmospheric conditions distorting the image (similar to how looking at something through the rising heat of a fire causes things to distort). Newer terrestrial telescopes are being developed with larger and flexible mirrors. They work by flexing the mirrors in a way that counteracts and cancels out those distortion waves by shining lasers into the atmosphere and creating artificial stars to track how the atmosphere is bending the light waves. The PBS Spacetime YouTube channel has a great video on this.


So the other answer to your question could also be that Hubble has already outlived its original mission duration, and newer technologies/advancements in other areas could make it unreasonable to upgrade. Upgrading Hubble may become equivalent to putting a new lens on an *ist D. Sure it'll fit and optics will be improved, but your money would be better spent upgrading the camera itself.

07-22-2021, 03:57 PM - 1 Like   #17
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It is important to realise that technology and equipment for any space mission is baked in years ahead of launch. That is especially true of Hubble, because of the long delay following the Challenger disaster. It's not like they nip down to the local shop to pick up a new computer or sensor the week before take-off.
07-22-2021, 05:22 PM   #18
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I watched the video - thanks for posting, very intriguing !

---------- Post added 07-22-21 at 05:23 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
It is important to realise that technology and equipment for any space mission is baked in years ahead of launch. That is especially true of Hubble, because of the long delay following the Challenger disaster. It's not like they nip down to the local shop to pick up a new computer or sensor the week before take-off.
true, very true!
07-24-2021, 08:43 PM - 1 Like   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
They mention the lack of a color filter gives 3x the resolution of a typical camera sensor of the same megapixels.
Virtually all astronomical imaging systems use monochromatic sensors. To make color images, or to isolate the light from a particular atom or molecule, color filters (sometimes quite narrowband - a few nm - for spectra lines) are used. A typical camera will have a filter wheel with anywhere from half a dozen or so up to perhaps 20 filters that can be rotated in front of the sensor, in a few seconds.

QuoteOriginally posted by Michael Piziak Quote
Wouldn't it be neat if astronauts could do a space walk out to the Hubble, and give it a modern upgrade to the camera/sensor - ?
Not sure if you are kidding or not - but there have been several missions to repair/replace/upgrade Hubble cameras. (My wife is a Co-PI on one of these: STIS - Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph, which went up in the 90s). The system is designed so that complete camera assemblies (about the size of a telephone booth - that's an anachronistic reference! Have you used a telephone booth lately!?) can be pulled out and replaced with another module. We lowly earthling DSLR users have interchangeable lens, whereas Hubble pretty much has a fixed lens (mirror!) and they change the camera as desired. Actually, HST has several "cameras" available at any one time which can be selected by a secondary mirror, as do all big earth-based telescopes, too. Typically, 3 or 4 instruments can be selected on a few minutes notice. Instruments can be swapped out during the daytime when it is time to put in a new camera (or whatever).

Once the Webb telescope is launched, there will be NO repair/servicing missions. Its orbit is such that it will be a million miles or so from earth, unlike Hubble in its few hundred mile high orbit.

QuoteOriginally posted by Mooncatt Quote
Newer terrestrial telescopes are being developed with larger and flexible mirrors. They work by flexing the mirrors in a way that counteracts and cancels out those distortion waves by shining lasers into the atmosphere and creating artificial stars to track how the atmosphere is bending the light waves.
Actually,it is the (much smaller!) secondary mirrors which will be flexed, at rates around hundreds of times per second - you can't wiggle a multi-meter piece of glass that fast!

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