Since the beginning of history, man has gazed upwards and wondered at the vastness of the universe that we inhabit. Knowledge grew slowly, and we began to learn of just how small we are here on Earth, just one small planet in one small galaxy – in a Universe that we cannot hope to measure.
Astronomy has given us a glimpse into the darkness, since the times of Galileo, and we know that there is still so much to discover.
The launch of the Hubble Space Telescope launch in 1990 has satisfied much curiosity (e.g. the age of the universe, the existence of dark energy), while raising even more questions. Sending it out into orbit has been on of man’s greatest feats.
Hubble is one of NASA’s most successful and longest lasting science missions, and it provides us with a ton of data and mind blowing images, as it orbits the Earth continually. It completes a full spin in 97 minutes – which means that is travels 8 kms per second.
Some of the incredible images that have been captured are shared with the public, and we have shared our favorites these here, alongside some other amazing shots taken from other spacecraft on various missions. We believe that these are truly awe-inspiring, and we would love to hear your opinions in the comments below.
This image depicts a cluster of young stars, illuminating a space in the dust of the Tarantula Nebula. Zoltan Levay, the imaging team leader at Space Telescope Science Institute, decides which of Hubble‘s images to share with the public. “Stars are being born, stars are dying,” he says. “There’s a vast amount of material churning.”
This is captured by the Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3, and shows the Horsehead Nebula in infrared. Hubble is able to depict this with unusual clarity, as it can penetrate the otherwise interfering interstellar dust and gas. This is a wonderful advance in imagery compared to the usual Earth-mounted telescopes that NASA has used in the past.
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