Hubble has clocked the speed of gas swirling around a massive black hole in the core of a galaxy at over 1 million miles an hour.
Delivering the Exotic
Managing the Space Telescope in preparation for the future
From its position 380 miles above Earth's surface, the Hubble Space Telescope unmasks massive black holes , snaps pictures of ancient galaxies that formed before Earth itself was born, and collects tantalizing evidence that may soon answer one of the oldest questions known to humankind: How big and how old is our universe?
Although the telescope captures these exotic events, it takes a team of highly trained astronomers, computer scientists, and technicians working at the Baltimore-based Space Telescope Science Institute to make the telescope's observations a reality, not only for astronomers but for millions of people fascinated by the study of the cosmos. Since NASA established the Institute in 1981, it has become something of a model for astronomical discovery. The Institute operates the telescope under contract to the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. NASA funds the telescope's operations, ensures the health and safety of spacecraft systems, and defines the science program. The Institute carries out daily observations and ensures that professional astronomers worldwide have access to the world's foremost observatory.
The same model may be used for next-generation space telescopes, which are expected to push the celestial frontiers even farther once Hubble's mission ends.
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