SPACE BOOK of POSTCARDS
telescopes in history have had as profound an effect on
astronomical research as has the Hubble Space Telescope.
Yet its influence is not what most people think. By and
large, it has not made singular discoveries—achievements
that are its and its alone. Instead Hubble has taken what
were hints and suspicions from ground-based observations
and turned them into near certainties. It has worked in
concert with ground-based observatories and other telescopes
to provide a multihued view of the cosmos. It has forced
theorists to rethink broad-brush theories and to construct
new ones that explain astronomical phenomena in much finer
detail. In short, Hubble has been extremely influential
not by standing apart from other instruments and techniques
but mainly by becoming deeply integrated with them.
Hubble Space Telescope is the invention of American astronomer
Edwin Hubble (1889–1953), who discovered large-scale
galaxies lying far beyond the Milky Way that are distributed
almost uniformly in all directions through space. An astronomer
at Mount Wilson Observatory, Pasadena, California (from
1919), and at Mt. Palomar, northeast of San Diego, California
(from 1948), Hubble was the first to offer evidence to
support the expanding theory of the universe.