It is no surprise that space is big, like “23 trillion light-years in diameter” big. Although no comparison can be made about how big space is, how far one can travel, many countries are nowadays trying to hit it big.
Contextually speaking about how big the space is, let’s just do some simple maths. One light-year is equal to 5.8 trillion miles. Now, multiply it 23 trillion times. Although you may think that it is the exact size of how big the space is, in reality, it is so large that there is no substantial way of telling how large it can be.
So, in other words, in a recent article by Betway Casino, the measurements are so massive when we talk about distances in space, that the number of zeroes that we add after the presumed destination, one would start to feel nervous. Nonetheless, it goes on to show how vast space is and that we are only a speck of atoms in this universe.
To get an idea based on scale, it is probably that light would not be able to travel from one side of the universe to the other side before the universe ends. We all know how light travels at 186,000 miles per second and the end of the universe isn’t predicted to be at least 200 billion years from now. So, guess what? Doomsday is very far.
Although it is tough to analyse how far the universe is spread, there is a speck of hope that may just help us out. The most significant piece of technology that has helped us establish the limits of the observable universe is none other than the Hubble Space Telescope.
It is normally the observatory in the sky which established the limits of the observable universe to be 94 billion light-years. It was the first major optical telescope that has been placed in space. Moreover, it has been situated right above the distortion of the clouds and the Earth’s atmosphere.
Thanks to how high above it has been placed, the telescope has managed to produce a more detailed view of the universe than anything is ever done before. However, after a continued 31 years’ worth of excellent service, Hubble Space Telescope will be replaced by the Webb Space Telescope.
One of the crew members has opened up about his experiences and the mechanism of the telescope itself. Dr. Steven Hawley was one of the crews that took the responsibility to place the telescope into orbit in 1990. Of course, this role provided him the responsibility to manage it.
When asked about the experience, he said, “For some 30 years, Hubble has been in orbit. It has been revolutionary for astronomy. Far more so than at least I had imagined it could be. It was critically important.” Dr. Harley is a director of engineering physics and a professor of astronomy and physics at Kansas University. So, rest assured he knows what he is doing.
The 69-year-old scientist has spent 770 hours and 27 minutes, which translates to more than 32 days in space across five separate Space Shuttle missions starting from 1984 and 1999. However, the most notable of those space shuttle missions were the Hubble launch mission in 1990 and the Hubble maintenance mission in 1997. These are officially known as the STS-31 Discovery and STS-86 Discovery respectively.
Although the Hubbard Space Telescope has monitored the sky for 30 plus years, initially, Dr. Harley thought that his creation would not get off the ground, let alone see the first light of the sky. He said “I followed the space program as a kid. Al Shephard launched it when I was in fifth grade. But I never thought I could be an astronaut because they were all military test pilots and I wanted to be an astronomer”.
He further commented, “It wasn’t obvious to me that I had the necessary skill set to be successful. I had never flown an airplane before or done anything particularly dangerous.” However, after seeing the job advert from NASA on the bulletin board of the University of California while studying for his doctorate in 1977, he finally thought of taking the first step towards stars.
Although many would think it to be a straightforward path but mind you, it wasn’t. About the journey, he said “It was all about being in the right place at the right time. The truth is when I was selected for NASA, it wasn’t obvious I was going to space. We were all hired into a position called ‘astronaut candidate’. You would go through training and evaluation for two years and if you were successful, they would remove ‘candidate’ from your title.” After getting assigned he finally made it big. He made many preparations with a lot of different aspects. And it paid off for him.