Today we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope. Hubble is hardly the first telescope: ever since Galileo, astronomers have used telescopes to study the sources of light from the universe, near and far. Stars, galaxies, nebulae, and planets too far away for humans to visit become accessible by studying the information contained in their radiation that travels to our telescopes. And yet after a journey of sometimes thousands or even billions of light-years, the light from these distant sources can be blurred or obscured by Earth’s atmosphere before it reaches our telescopes on the ground. The Hubble Space Telescope, launched in 1990, solves this dilemma by orbiting the Earth above the atmosphere, providing crystal-clear images that have opened our eyes to a universe barely imagined before.
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