Hubble Is a Reflecting Telescope
Hubble works on the same principle as the first reflecting telescope built in the 1600s by Isaac Newton. Light enters the telescope and strikes a concave primary mirror, which acts like a lens to focus the light. The bigger the mirror, the better the image.

In Hubble, light from the primary mirror is reflected to a smaller secondary mirror in front of the primary mirror, then back through a hole in the primary to instruments clustered behind the focal plane (where the image is in focus).


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Mirror size
Primary mirror: 2.4 m
(94.5 inches) in diameter
Secondary mirror: 0.3 m
(12 inches) in diameter
Angular resolution
Hubble's angular resolution is 0.05 arcsecond. This is the "sharpness" of Hubble's vision. If you could see as well as Hubble, you could stand in New York City and distinguish two fireflies, 1 m (3.3 feet) apart, in San Francisco.