As you can tell by putting “hubble” into the blog’s search engine on the right, the Hubble Space Telescope has been a strikingly successful eye on what’s going on (and what went on) in the universe, and very powerful tool in lots of research. A lot of that research is done with the instrument called the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), which have been the instrument in most heavy demand by researchers since it went online in 2002 (Hubble was launched much earlier, in 1990 of course). The instrument stopped working a few days ago (see e.g. stories here and here [update: and especially here]), and is not expected to become operational again without direct intervention. Given that the Hubble orbits some 360 miles above the earth, this is not an easy thing to do.
There are other instruments on board too, but the loss of use of this one is a heavy Continue reading ‘Hubble Trouble’