Per a news release, the Hubble space telescope that has been giving us so many magnificent views of what lies beyond our planet has recently turned 30 years old, having been launched back in 1990.
Hubble Celebrates Three Decades Of Operations
They weren’t quite aware of it yet, but when the Hubble space telescope launched onboard the space shuttle Discovery, they were effectively making history and it was the start of what would be a fruitful legacy. Now the same space telescope has reached quite the milestone not just by contributing to almost every part of astronomy and space science and making us dream a little big bigger, but by also spending its 30th birthday in outer space.
Its unique design has contributed in making this long of a journey possible since it has already been repaired and upgraded some five times by visiting astronauts, making it one of NASA’s most valuable and longest-lived observatories. In fact, only the retirement of the space shuttle it flew in back in 2011 put a stop to servicing missions in the future.
“Hubble’s seemingly never-ending, breathtaking celestial snapshots provide a visual shorthand for its exemplary scientific achievements. Unlike any other telescope before it, Hubble has made astronomy relevant, engaging, and accessible for people of all ages. The mission has yielded to date 1.4 million observations and provided data that astronomers around the world have used to write more than 17,000 peer-reviewed scientific publications, making it one of the most prolific space observatories in history,” NASA and ESA stated in a blog post that celebrates the telescope’s birthday.
But spending three decades in space calls for a little celebration. And to commemorate its 30th year, Hubble is celebrating by taking a portrait of two nebulae. Named NGC 2014 and NGC 2020, a fiery orange and red nebula and a deep blue nebula respectively that seem to be sitting alongside each other.
“These stars have short lives of only a few million years, compared to the 10-billion-year lifetime of our Sun,” the space agencies wrote in the same blog post that celebrates the telescope’s 30th birthday.