Friday, April 24, 2015

25 years of the Hubble Space Telescope

I interrupt the celebration of Earth Week on this blog to turn my attention skyward to mark the 25th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope.

I begin with Hubble Space Telescope itself, which posted Hubble at 25 on New Year's Eve.

This is a preview of the 13-part video series that will showcase the Hubble Space Telescope as it's never been seen before. For the past 25 years Hubble has transformed our view of the universe, become a cultural icon, and even contributed to medical technology, among its many other accomplishments.
Click here for the playlists that the video promises.  Follow over the jump for videos from Reuters and TomoNews US about today's anniversary.

Reuters summarized the space telescope's accomplishments and history over the past quarter century in The Hubble turns 25.

The Hubble telescope turns 25, marking a milestone in the history of space exploration. As Pavithra George reports, NASA is celebrating the technology, saying Hubble has "rewritten the text books."
That's what the instrument means for scientists and the rest of us.  For an explanation of how it works, watch TomoNews US' report Hubble Space Telescope marks the 25th anniversary of its launch.

Friday marks the 25th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope's launch on April 24, 1990 from the Kennedy Space Center aboard the space shuttle Discovery.

At 13.2 metres long and with a maximum diameter of 4.2 metres, the Hubble Space Telescope is similar in size to a large tractor-trailer truck. It orbits the Earth about every 95 minutes, traveling at speeds of about 27,300 kmph.

Among the discoveries astronomers have made using Hubble are bright and dark regions on the dwarf planet Ceres, four new Pluto moons and measurements of the motion of the Andromeda galaxy, which scientists used to determine the galaxy will merge with the Milky Way in approximately 4 billion years.

Astronomers also used Hubble to determine the age of the universe — 13.82 billion years — with an accuracy of about 5 percent.
Happy 25th birthday, Hubble!

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