The Hubble Space Telescope is a telescope that was launched into low Earth orbit in 1990 and remains in operation. The purpose of the Hubble Space Telescope is to gather light from cosmic objects so scientists can better understand the universe around us. In its life, it has generated more than 10,000 scientific papers from the raw data alone and massively expanded our view of the cosmos and our place in it. For something that started off seemingly unimpressive this amazing machine has now served us for 30 years and captured a lot of amazing images along the way.
Lucky for us Hubble’s capabilities have grown immensely in its over 30 years of operation. This is because new, cutting-edge scientific instruments have been added to the telescope over the course of five astronaut servicing missions. By replacing and upgrading aging parts, these servicing missions have greatly extended the telescope’s lifetime, as well as the quality of the images it takes.
To celebrate Hubble’s 30th ‘birthday” Nasa now has a website where you can check out what the Hubble was taking pictures of on your birthday!! Two drop-down boxes give you the option to enter your month and day of birth and then hit submit. In less than one lightyear your image will fill the screen! It will tell you what date the picture was taken and a little bit of information about it!! The internet can not get enough of this amateur astronomy fun!! Here are just a few of the amazing images you may see if you play along!!!
Space exploration is something that seems to speak to everyone in one way or another. Whether you dreamed of being an astronaut as a child or simply just enjoy taking a sneak peek into the unknown, the Hubble’s images are sure to satisfy your curiosity. Maybe one day we will have more answers than questions. But until then at least we have these images to hold us over!