I don’t want to confuse you, but… Please don’t consider any steak of light in the nights sky as a Meteor without confirming! In my earlier post, I mentioned about the appearance of a meteor (shooting star) as a fleeting flash of light in the night sky.
I am thrilled to let you know that the Streak of light seen in the above image is NOT a meteor.
It's actually The Hubble Space Telescope!
Hubble Space Telescope is a space telescope that was launched from space shuttle Discovery on April 24, 1990. It is the length of a large school bus and weighs as much as two adult elephants. Hubble travels about 5 miles per second.
Earth’s atmosphere alters and blocks the light that comes from space. Hubble orbits above Earth’s atmosphere, which gives it a better view of the universe than telescopes have at ground level.
The telescope’s first few images came back so blurry that they were close to useless. Hubble's main mirror had a defect — a spherical aberration caused by a manufacturing error. The flaw was minute, at just 1/50th the thickness of a sheet of paper, but that was big enough to cause major imaging problems.
It took three years before NASA could mount a repair mission. On Dec. 2, 1993, the Space Shuttle Endeavor ferried a crew of seven to fix Hubble during five days of spacewalks. Two new cameras, including the Wide-Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC-2) — which later took many of Hubble's most famous photos — were installed during the fix. In December 1993, the first new images from Hubble reached Earth, and they were breathtaking.
Since the Hubble Space Telescope opened its eye to the universe 30 years ago, it has uncovered some of the most breathtaking astronomical wonders ever seen. Seeing in ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared, the telescope uses imaging and spectroscopy to deliver its wide-ranging discoveries. These capabilities are represented in the 6 iconic images above, which are just a tiny sampling of Hubble’s vast catalog.
Images taken by Hubble have helped scientists estimate the age and size of the universe. Scientists believe the universe is almost 14 billion years old. Hubble has helped scientists understand how planets and galaxies form. An image called "Hubble Ultra Deep Field" shows the farthest galaxies ever seen.
Hubble has detected black holes, which suck in everything around them, including light. The telescope has played a key role in the discovery of dark energy, a mysterious force that causes the universe to expand faster and faster as time goes on. And it has revealed details of gamma-ray bursts -- powerful explosions of energy that occur when massive stars collapse. Hubble has also studied the atmospheres of planets revolving around stars similar to Earth’s sun.
How and When to spot the Satellites?
Satellites don’t have exterior lights.
What we actually see is a reflected sunlight. The best time to spot satellites is just after dark or before dawn when the sun is a few degrees below the horizon. During the middle of the night, the earth blocks the sun from the satellites as they pass overhead making them invisible.
You can use applications such as 'Heavens-Above' or Stellarium to check the timing and location of the Satellites / objects in the night sky.
Information Courtesy : www.nasa.gov www.space.com www.stellarium.org www.heavens-above.com