Page last updated at 05:56 GMT, Wednesday, 2 April 2008 06:56 UK

Hubble expert gives city lecture

The Hubble Space Telescope during its servicing mission in 1999  Image: Nasa
Named after the great US astronomer Edwin Hubble
Launched in 1990 into a 600km-high circular orbit
Equipped with a 2.4m primary mirror and five instruments
Length: 15.9m; diameter: 4.2m; Mass: 11,110kg

A leading light in the European Space Agency is to tell a Belfast audience how the Hubble telescope has "built a bridge between science and art".

Lars Lindberg Christensen is in the city for a talk explaining how it has been "one of the most successful scientific projects of all time".

The lecture is a community outreach initiative between Queen's University and the Irish Astronomical Association.

Hubble is the world's flagship space-borne observatory.

Launched in 1990, the telescope delivers unprecedented pictures of the Universe and gathers information that has led to new understanding of how the cosmos formed and what it contains.

In January, the US space agency (Nasa) announced details of a challenging mission to service Hubble.

Without an upgrade, the multi-billion-dollar orbiting observatory is likely to fail in 2010 or 2011.

The planned fix will provide a massive boost to Hubble's capabilities, giving it greater sensitivity and a larger field of view.

Mr Christensen's lecture on Hubble is one of several public events to be held at the Royal Astronomical Society's National Astronomy Meeting 2008 taking place at Queen's this week.

It will feature a presentation of the latest scientific study of Hubble galaxy images by astronomers at Queen's.

Mr Christensen said: "Hubble's exquisite image quality has enabled astronomers to gain entirely new insights into the workings of a huge range of different astronomical objects and provided the visual overview of underlying astrophysical processes taking place in planets, stars and galaxies."

Lars Lindberg Christensen is based at Hubble European Space Agency (Esa) Information Centre in Munich, Germany. Esa is a 15% partner on the telescope with Nasa.

The lecture takes place in the Larmor lecture theatre, Physics and Astronomy Building, at Queen's at 1930 GMT on Wednesday. Admission is free.

Fix will give Hubble major boost
09 Jan 08 |  Science/Nature
Methane found on distant world
19 Mar 08 |  Science/Nature
Hubble's main camera shuts down
30 Jan 07 |  Science/Nature
First stars in telescope's sights
12 Jan 07 |  Science/Nature
Hubble telescope will get upgrade
31 Oct 06 |  Science/Nature
Hubble mission is 'wonderful news'
31 Oct 06 |  Science/Nature


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2018 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific