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The imaging performance of the Hubble Space Telescope
Burrows, Christopher J.; Holtzman, Jon A.; Faber, S. M.; Bely, Pierre Y.; Hasan, Hashima; Lynds, C. R.; Schroeder, Daniel
AA(Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD; ESA, Astrophysics Div., Noordwijk, Netherlands), AB(Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD; ESA, Astrophysics Div., Noordwijk, Netherlands), AC(Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, AZ), AD(Lick Observatory, Santa Cruz, CA), AE(Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 2 - Letters (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 369, March 10, 1991, p. L21-L25. (ApJL Homepage)
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NASA/STI Keywords:
Hubble Space Telescope, Mirrors, Pointing Control Systems, Spaceborne Photography, Aberration, Asphericity, Astronomical Photometry, Diffraction Limited Cameras
Bibliographic Code:


Problems with the HST instantaneous imaging performance and pointing performance are discussed. Optical tests have clearly demonstrated that the HST suffers from spherical aberration. The top level specification was that 70 percent of the energy be focused in a 0.1 in. radius, but the present, and close to optimum, focus setting gives only about 16 percent. The pointing control system also is having problems with the results that the spacecraft achieves a stability of about 0.007 rms in quiescent periods, falling short of specification which requires that such performance be maintained for 24 hr. The finite guidance sensors are not guiding well on faint stars. There is a loss of sky coverage at high Galactic latitude, especially for the Wide-Field/Planetary Camera. The consequences of these defects for the scientific program are examined.

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