The Hubble Revolution
Launched in 1990, Hubble Space Telescope transformed astronomy. It provided clear images free from Earth's atmospheric distortion, revealing phenomena like black hole-powered galactic centers and detailed planetary nebulae structures.
Kepler's Exoplanet Legacy
Deployed in 2009, Kepler Space Telescope specialized in finding Earth-like exoplanets. It utilized the transit method, observing light dips when planets cross stars. Kepler discovered over 2,600 confirmed exoplanets, broadening our understanding of planetary systems.
James Webb's Infrared Frontier
Scheduled for 2021, James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) aims to observe the universe in infrared. Its larger mirror and improved sensitivity will study the first galaxies and stars, and analyze exoplanet atmospheres.
TESS Expands the Search
Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), launched in 2018, is Kepler's successor. It's surveying 200,000 of the brightest stars near the sun to search for transiting exoplanets, potentially identifying thousands more.
Chandra's X-ray Vision
Chandra X-ray Observatory, in orbit since 1999, observes high-energy regions of the universe. It looks at hot gas in galaxy clusters, supernova remnants, and the vicinity of black holes, revealing insights into the structure and evolution of the cosmos.
Future: The Nancy Grace Roman Telescope
Planned for the mid-2020s, the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope will investigate dark energy, exoplanets, and infrared astrophysics. With a field of view 100 times larger than Hubble's, it will create panoramic surveys of the sky with stunning detail.