Hubble returned to operational service, showcases exoplanet’s second atmosphere

The Hubble Space Telescope recently garnered headlines for a software anomaly that caused the iconic observatory to enter safe mode as its control teams worked to successfully restore the telescope to operational status. While Hubble is showing its age, scientists using the observatory are nonetheless continuing to produce incredible scientific discoveries, including a recent announcement surrounding an exoplanet 41 light years away that is on its second atmosphere. Hubble issues In May 2009, Space Shuttle Atlantis performed the fifth and final servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope, which was already showing signs of degradation in the seven years that had passed since its previous upgrade. Now 12 years on from that final servicing mission, the telescope is showing its age again, most recently with a safe mode event that occurred on Sunday, 7 March at 04:00 EST/09:00 UTC when a software error was detected inside the telescope’s main computer.  Hubble’s control teams quickly isolated the cause of the error to a recent upload to help the telescope compensate for fluctuations in one of its gyroscopes — which are themselves vital to the rock-solid pointing ability of the observatory. Moreover, a different issue stemming from the safe mode revealed another…

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Hubble returned to operational service, showcases exoplanet’s second atmosphere

Updated: March 16, 2021 — 10:27 am