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Hubble's Instruments: WFPC2 - Wide Field Planetary Camera 2

The Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) was Hubble's workhorse camera for many years. It records images through a selection of 48 colour filters covering a spectral range from far-ultraviolet to visible and near-infrared wavelengths. The 'heart' of WFPC2 consists of an L-shaped trio of wide-field sensors and a smaller, high resolution (Planetary) Camera placed at the square's remaining corner.

WFPC2 has produced most of the stunning images that have been released as public outreach images over the years. Its resolution and excellent quality are some of the reasons that WFPC2 has been the most used instrument in the first 13 years of Hubble's life.

 

WFPC2 Facts

Instrument type Camera
Weight 281 kg
Dimensions 0,8 m x 2.2 m x 2,0 m
Field of view 2.7 arcminutes
Wavelength range 1200 to 10000 Angstroms

 

WFPC2 is being readied for insertion into Hubble during the First Servicing Mission.
WFPC2 is being readied for insertion into Hubble during the First Servicing Mission.

A typical image taken with the WFPC2 camera onboard Hubble. The four CCD chips are so close that the seams between them are difficult to see. They are all 800x800 pixels - also the smaller PC (Planetary Camera chip in the upper left corner)

A typical image taken with the WFPC2 camera onboard Hubble. The four CCD chips are so close that the seams between them are difficult to see. They are all 800x800 pixels - also the smaller PC (Planetary Camera chip in the upper left corner).