Bethany Cobb presents a public talk at UC Berkeley on January 16, 2010, as part of the Science@Cal Lecture Series described at scienceatcal.berkeley.edu/lectures

Released into orbit in 1990, the highly anticipated Hubble Space Telescope quickly became a major embarrassment for NASA. Despite two decades of development and testing, the telescope's main mirror had been shaped incorrectly, leaving the telescope out of focus. The telescope also suffered from a design flaw that caused the telescope to shake! Despite these troubles, HST was still a powerful astronomical instrument thanks to its orbit above Earth's atmosphere. With a series of delicate space repairs in 1993, HST finally reached its full potential and has been a revolutionary instrument ever since. This talk describes HST's history and future and highlights some of the telescope's groundbreaking astronomical observations.

Bethany Cobb is a National Science Foundation Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Berkeley. She works on the explosive deaths of massive stars as gamma ray bursts. She enjoys communicating her love of astronomy to the public, whether teaching at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, providing astronomical information for "The Old Farmer's Almanac", participating in the astronomy department's International Year of Astronomy Lecture Series, or developing an astronomy-themed dance performance with choreographer Kathryn Roszak.

Videography and editing by Chris Klein. This video is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License - creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us

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