Archive for October 22, 2018

10/22/2018 – Ephemeris – The Hubble Space Telescope is on the mend

October 22, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, October 22nd. The Sun will rise at 8:07. It’ll be up for 10 hours and 39 minutes, setting at 6:46. The Moon, 2 days before full, will set at 6:42 tomorrow morning.

Some of this news is a week old, but on October 5th the Hubble Space Telescope went into safe mode due to the loss of a functioning gyroscope. It needs three for fine stabilization for normal operation. Six new ones were installed by a servicing mission in 2009. In a worse case scenario, it can hobble along with just one. When a backup gyro was brought on-line it was showing anomalous readings. That was the status as of a week ago. Apparently, a workaround for the wonky gyro was found, and Hubble will go back into full operation soon.  Another servicing mission is impossible because the Space Shuttle program has ended and all the surviving shuttle orbiters are in museums. With the James Web Space Telescope delayed until at least 2021, there may well be a gap in the reception of those exquisite images from space.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.


The Hubble Space Telescope
The Hubble Space Telescope after a servicing mission. Credit: NASA.