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the Hubble Telescope Launch (1990)

"Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious."

~ Stephen Hawking (1942-2018)

Launched on April 24, 1990, aboard the space shuttle Discovery, the Hubble Space Telescope quickly ascended into its Earth orbit, offering an unparalleled window into the universe. Perched 340 miles above our planet, Hubble has been instrumental in capturing some of the most captivating and detailed images of the cosmos, dramatically enhancing our understanding of space. One of the most dramatic ongoing events it has documented is the anticipated merger of our own Milky Way with the Andromeda galaxy. Hubble's detailed observations have uncovered a curious detail: despite their similar ages, the stars in Andromeda's halo are considerably younger than those in the Milky Way. This suggests that Andromeda has experienced a turbulent history, colliding with and absorbing several other galaxies. Through the eye of the Hubble, we continue to explore the complexities and dynamics of the universe, witnessing its ever-changing beauty and chaos in exquisite detail. This tartan was inspired by the galactic images seen through the Hubble telescope and its followers. 💜 ❤️ 🔭✨ 🌌 💜 ❤️

The Hubble Space telescope (HST), responsible for some of our most dazzling pictures of the universe yet available to our generation, was launched aboard the space shuttle Discovery on April 24, 1990, and was deployed into Earth's orbit a day later.

Named after the astronomer Edwin Hubble,  it is one of NASA's Great Observatories, along with the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Spitzer Space Telescope.  Hubble is the only telescope designed to be serviced in space by astronauts for maintenance and equipment upgrades.

Galaxies range in size from dwarfs with just a few hundred million stars to giants with one hundred trillion stars, each orbiting its galaxy's center of mass. Galaxies are categorized according to their visual visual morphology as elliptical  spiral, or irregular.  Many galaxies are thought to have supermassive black holes at their centers. The Milky Way's central black hole, known as Sagittarius A*, has a mass four million times greater than the Sun!

Hubble has helped resolve some long-standing problems in astronomy, while also raising new questions. 


  • Better measurements of distance to the Cepheid variable stars allowed refinement of the Hubble constant, the measure of the rate at which the universe is expanding, which is also related to its age. The estimated age of the universe is now about 13.7 billion years (prior to the Hubble Telescope, scientists predicted an age ranging from 10 to 20 billion years).

  • Astronomers from the High-z Supernova Search Team and the Supernova Cosmology Project used ground-based telescopes and HST to observe distant supernovae and uncovered evidence that, far from decelerating under the influence of gravity, the expansion of the universe may in fact be accelerating! The cause of this acceleration remains poorly understood; the most common cause attributed is dark energy.

  • The high-resolution spectra and images provided by the HST have been especially well-suited to establishing the prevalence of black holes in the nuclei of nearby galaxies. While it had been hypothesized in the early 1960s that black holes would be found at the centers of some galaxies, and astronomers in the 1980s identified a number of good black hole candidates, and work conducted with Hubble shows that black holes are probably common to the centers of all galaxies.


This tartan, designed by Carol A.L. Martin, was inspired by the galactic images seen through the Hubble telescope and its followers.

To learn more about the Hubble Telescope, click the galaxy!

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