Balloon Mounted Telescope Captures Tarantula Nebula in First Research Images #SpaceSaturday

As it turns out, balloons really are used as observation devices. Observation of deep space, that is. Here’s more from NASA:

The advantage of balloon-based versus space telescopes is the reduced cost of not having to launch a large telescope on a rocket. A super pressure balloon can circumnavigate the globe for up to 100 days to gather scientific data. The balloon also floats at an altitude above most of the Earth’s atmosphere, making it suitable for many astronomical observations.

The SuperBIT telescope captures images of galaxies in the visible-to-near ultraviolet light spectrum, which is within the Hubble Space Telescope’s capabilities, but with a wider field of view. The goal of the mission is to map dark matter around galaxy clusters by measuring the way these massive objects warp the space around them, also called “weak gravitational lensing.”

See and learn more!


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