The Challenges of Using the
Hubble Space Telescope
challenges of using the
Hubble Space Telescope (HST) are numerous. The
links below sometimes demonstrate the complexity
of the instrument and sometimes simplify the story
about creating images from HST exposures.
Imagine using a telescope that is orbiting
around the earth. How does one keep it pointed
and steady without the earth for support? What
happens if it points towards the moon or the
sun? Who worries about these things and makes
sure the telescope doesn't get damaged? One
of the people is the Program Coordinator (PC).
These notes were
written by Mike Asbury who was PC for the observations
of NGC 4650A.
Imagine a square window on the universe. Wouldn't
it be easy to center your favorite astronomical
object in that window? But what if you are using
Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) detector?
Because 1 of the 4 cameras has a different spatial
resolution than the others, when all 4 images
scaled to match each other the field
of view is "chevron" shaped. so the astronomers
have to consider where to place their target
in the field of view and how to rotate the telescope,
orient the detector, so that all of the
target falls in the field of view.
An example, on the Hubble Heritage website,
comparing the field of view of the Hubble Space
Telescope with a large groundbased telescope
is the galaxy NGC
Want to see whether the HST field of view
will cover your favorite astronomical object?
archive . There you can search for data
taken with WFPC2 and ask for the field of view
to be plotted on the
Digitized Sky Survey (DSS).
Simple descriptions about the work involved
in operating HST are presented in the
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