Did You Know: Telescope Technology

Video Player

Video Versions

Did you know that telescopes do more than capture gorgeous images?

Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with NASA’s Universe of Learning partners: Caltech/IPAC, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, and Sonoma State University.
·        Hubble Space Telescope image of Terzan 5: NASA, ESA
·        Hubble Space Telescope spectroscopy animation of the Southern Crab Nebula: NASA, ESA, and L. Hustak (STScI)
Written by Claire Blome
Designed by Craig Anderson, Leah Hustak, and Dani Player
Editorial and design input from Margaret W. Carruthers, Dr. Brandon Lawton, Leah Ramsay, and Timothy Rhue II
Music courtesy of Music for Non-Profits

Text, Did you know? Telescope Technology.
Telescopes do more than capture gorgeous images. A cluster of stars filled with thousands of small white stars with larger blue and gold stars interspersed.
Text, Telescopes are designed to capture light from distant objects and provide insight into how the universe works.
Some telescope instruments work like digital camera. Terzan 5, Hubble Space Telescope.
Many telescopes have instruments that spread light out so that we can see details in the colors of objects in space. Southern Crab Nebula, Hubble Space Telescope.
This spreading out of light is called spectroscopy. A green to yellow to orange and then red color line beneath the image of the Southern Crab Nebula. Text, The pattern of colors and absence of colors in a spectrum of light can tell us which elements make up an object in space.
Green is labeled oxygen. Yellow is labeled Hydrogen. Orange is labeled Nitrogen. Red is labeled Sulfur.
Text, The spectrum of a star also helps us figure out how the star is moving within a galaxy.
Both images and spectra provide ways for light to tell us about the makeup and movement of objects in the universe. Southern Crab Nebula, Hubble Space Telescope.