The Hubble Telescope was launched by NASA in 1990 and it continues to send some amazing pictures back to Earth. Almost reaching its 25th anniversary in service for the study of space and its stellar bodies, this extraordinary piece of equipment has taken extremely high-resolution images with almost no background light.
On April 24, 1990, NASA launched the Hubble Space Telescope — riding on the Space Shuttle Discovery — from the Kennedy Space Center. Even though the plan was to send it up to space on board the Challenger, the disaster that destroyed the shuttle delayed Hubble’s launch into space.
Located just above the Earth’s atmosphere — away from distortion — allows it to capture incredibly detailed, clear, never-before-seen images that astronomers have relished for almost 25 years. After suffering some set-backs at the onset, when researchers found out that a faulty mirror would ruin all images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, the problem was solved later on.
A team made of seven astronauts spent five days correcting the issues with the mirror and installing two new cameras in 1993. In December of the same year, NASA finally obtained what the super powerful telescope was intended to deliver: the clearest look into space in the history of its exploration.
Take a look at some of the incredible images the NASA has received from Hubble Space Telescope in the last 24-years.
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The Hubble Space Telescope is not the first of its kind in the outer world, but is the most versatile and one of the largest ever built for the purpose of studying celestial bodies. It also permits astronauts to service it right in space, which allowed four separate Space Shuttle missions to repair Hubble.
But Hubble is not only about capturing amazing images for the enjoyment of scientists and space aficionados. It has also helped researchers test and confirm theories about things like quasars, dark matter, black holes, and the age of our universe, as reported by Mashable.
The Hubble Space Telescope is named after the astronomer Edwin Hubble, and is expected to remain in operation until 2020.
[Image via Hubble Space Telescope/NASA]