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Looking to the stars

By the Numbers


Illustration by Krieg Barrie

Looking to the stars
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18,000

The rough number of published academic papers that used data from the Hubble Space Telescope, according to NASA, since it began documenting the cosmos in 1990. The successful December launch of Hubble’s successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, marks a changing of the guard in deep space research. Already NASA has directed Hubble to scout patches of space that may be promising for the larger, more powerful Webb Telescope. Still, Hubble is operating with all four active instruments collecting data, and the space agency expects Hubble to continue its mission for another decade or longer.

1.5m

The number of observations Hubble has made during its 31-year career according to the space agency.

21'4"

The size of the Webb Telescope’s primary mirror, compared to the 8-foot mirror aboard Hubble.

$10b

The final price tag for the Webb Telescope compared to the $2.5 billion initial cost of Hubble.

48.25g

The amount of gold used to coat the Webb’s mirror, about the same weight as
a golf ball.

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