Space Telescope Facts



  • Space telescopes are launched as satellites so we can study the Universe without interference from Earth’s atmosphere.
  • The first space telescope was Copernicus, sent up in 1972.
  • The most famous is the Hubble space telescope, launched from a space shuttle in 1990.
  • Different space telescopes study all the different forms of radiation that make up the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • The COBE satellite picks up microwave radiation which may be left over from the Big Bang.
  • The IRAS satellite studied infrared radiation from objects as small as space dust.
  • Space telescopes that study ultraviolet rays from the stars included the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE), launched in 1978.
  • Helios was one of many space telescopes studying the Sun.
  • X-rays can only be picked up by space telescopes such as the Einstein, ROSAT and XTE satellites.
  • Gamma rays can only be picked up by space telescopes like the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory.