Hubble camera working again

Arp 220. Credit: NASA, ESA, and C. Wilson (McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada)

The main camera on the Hubble Space Telescope is the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS). In the middle of June power supply problems in the camera forced NASA engineers to shut down the camera to protect the CCD detectors. They have now restarted the camera with backup electronics and are planning to take the opportunity to cool down the detectors a further 4 degrees Celsius to -81°C. This will allow the camera to function better than ever and be even more sensitive to faint light. More information from Sky&Telescope.

The picture above is a recently released picture from the ACS. It is a close up of the dusty galaxy Arp 220 and is credit: NASA, ESA, and C. Wilson (McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada). More information from the HubbleSite.

The Hubble Space Telescope is still working well, but technicians expect battery and gyroscope problems in the next few years. A Shuttle service mission is crucial to keep this extremely successful and important telescope operating to the end of the decade and beyond.

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