Dr Sarah Badman is a Research fellow in space physics at Lancaster University. She works on magnetospheric and auroral dynamics in the solar system.
  • The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) floats gracefully above the blue Earth after release from Discovery's robot arm after a successful servicing mission.

Credit: NASA/ESA


    Telescopes on the ground may be cheaper, but Hubble shows why they are not enough

    Observatories on Earth are cheaper than telescopes in space. They are also improving rapidly – when the European-Extremely Large Telescope starts its observations in nine years, it will be able to provide images 16 times sharper than those taken by the Hubble space telescope. But while it may seem hard to justify investment in space telescopes, the ground-breaking discoveries made by Hubble have taught us just how valuable they are.