Understanding the universe; from nearby planets, star formation regions, the interstellar medium, galaxies and distant objects formed shortly after the Big Bang; relies on the use imagery and spectroscopy.
The acquisition of a spectrum of an object, that is, the detailed distribution of energy emitted at each energy, is a powerful diagnostic tool. It is said that to truly understand the astrophysics of the universe, accurate spectroscopy is needed - to determine chemical compositions, orbits, velocities and the motion of the whole universe.
Hubble Space Telescope is regularly used to obtain data on the cosmos using its spectroscopic instruments. These data are now available in an online archive for research use. Find out what is being learned from this information and why it is important to make sure the data are available publicly.