To celebrate International Astronomy Day (May 7), we are highlighting this post from ScIU’s archives! It was originally published by Jennifer Sieben in April 2020 and has been lightly edited to reflect current events.
April 24th, 2020 was the 30th anniversary of the launch of perhaps the most famous telescope: the Hubble Space Telescope. Orbiting the earth, this telescope has changed the way astronomers and the public alike view the universe. With over 1.4 million observations, providing data for more than 16,000 peer-reviewed scientific papers, Hubble has exceeded expectations.
If you have ever seen an image of a spiral galaxy as a desktop background, textbook cover, or in the background of an inspirational quote, the chances are high that it was taken by Hubble. Images like these highlight the spectacular beauty of our universe and are often a great tool to encourage interest in science. Hubble images demonstrate that science can be more than a mixture of numbers and buggy code; it can also be spiral galaxies that show where new stars are being formed and remind us that the mystery of galaxy formation is still unsolved. New data received from Hubble constantly challenges our preconceived notions about the universe.