NASA celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) on Saturday. Since its launch into space on April 24, 1990 by Discovery space shuttle, the telescope has been instrumental in improving human understanding of the vast space around us especially on how the universe formed and how it is evolving. It found ancient galaxies that formed well before scientists believed it was possible for them to exist. It also provided evidence of an anti-gravity force known as “dark energy” that is inflating all of space at a faster and faster rate.
According to Ed Weiler – NASA associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, Hubble has changed a lot of thinking and it’s changed a lot of what he learned for the past 30 years ago in grad school.
Hubble, was named after the great astronomer Edwin Powell Hubble, who has captured some of the most dazzling images of the heavenly space we have ever seen. Located at 593km from ground, Hubble looked back in time, showing astronomers what embryonic galaxies looked like almost 14 billion years ago. In some cases, Hubble’s instruments picked up light that left stars only 600 million years after the Big Bang. The telescope has solar panels on the sides that convert the sun’s energy into 2,800 watts of electricity, some of which is stored to be used when the Hubble is in the shadows.
The space is full of unexplored mystery, places beyond the knowledge of human being. I think we really need the “Star Trek” fleet as in the film to explore the unknown!
Happy 20th birthday Hubble!