The Hubble Space Telescope
To overcome these drawbacks the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) was positioned 600 km from the Earth's surface. This telescope has a 2.4 metre mirror and 6 instruments to observe from ultraviolet to near infrared.
The resolution of the telescope is 0.1 arcsec: it is possible to see a 2 eurocent coin at a distance of 40 km; the HST is able to observe objects 40 times fainter than the faintest stars observed by earth telescopes!
Most of the images on these pages are taken by this telescope.
The idea of a space-orbiting telescope was conceived in 1962 in the USA, at the National Academy of Science; the real project started only in 1977 and the telescope was completed in 1985. In 1990 the Space Shuttle Discovery carried it into orbit around the Earth.
To see lots more images taken by Hubble go to the NASA photographic archive.