Galaxy M100 Imaged Before and After First Hubble Servicing Mission

Hubble Space Telescope2003-11-27


Washington, DC, United States

These comparison images of the core of the galaxy M100 show the dramatic improvement in the Hubble Space Telescope's view of the universe after its first servicing mission. The newer image (right) was taken with the second-generation Wide Field and Planetary Camera (WFPC2), which was installed during the STS-61 servicing mission. The picture demonstrates that the corrective optics incorporated within WFPC2 compensated fully for the optical aberration in Hubble's primary mirror. The new camera allowed Hubble to probe the universe with unprecedented clarity and sensitivity, and to fulfill many of the most important scientific objectives for which the telescope was originally built.

The core of the grand design spiral galaxy M100, as imaged by Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 in its high resolution channel. The WFPC2 contained modified optics that corrected for Hubble's previously blurry vision. The image was taken on December 31, 1993.

For comparison, this picture was taken with the original Wide Field Planetary Camera (WFPC1) in wide field mode, on November 27, 1993, just a few days prior to the STS-61 servicing mission. The effects of optical aberration in Hubble's 2.4-meter primary mirror blur starlight, smeared fine detail, and limited the telescope's ability to see faint structure. Both of these Hubble images are "raw"; they were not subjected to computer image reconstruction techniques commonly used before the servicing mission.

The background is a Hubble image of galaxies observed as part of the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey (GOODS).

Credit: NASA, ESA, and STScI


  • Title: Galaxy M100 Imaged Before and After First Hubble Servicing Mission
  • Creator: Hubble Space Telescope
  • Date Created: 2003-11-27, 2003-12-31

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