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PHOTOS: Hubble's turn to smile, marks 25 years in orbit

PHOTO GALLERY: Hubble's turn to smile, space telescope marks quarter-century in orbit

This January 2005 image made by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) and a companion galaxy. The Whirlpool's two curvi...
This image made by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the Eagle Nebula's "Pillars of Creation." The dust and gas in the pillars is seared by th...
This image made by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows nearly 10,000 galaxies in the deepest visible-light image of the cosmos, cutting across b...
This image made by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the Orion Nebula and the proceess of star formation, from the massive, young stars that a...
This image made by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the tattered remains of a supernova explosion known as Cassiopeia A. It is the youngest k...

Hubble Space Telescope Photo Gallery

This January 2005 image made by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) and a companion galaxy. The Whirlpool's two curvi...

Hubble Space Telescope Photo Gallery

This image made by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the Eagle Nebula's "Pillars of Creation." The dust and gas in the pillars is seared by th...

Hubble Space Telescope Photo Gallery

This image made by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows nearly 10,000 galaxies in the deepest visible-light image of the cosmos, cutting across b...

Hubble Space Telescope Photo Gallery

This image made by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the Orion Nebula and the proceess of star formation, from the massive, young stars that a...

Hubble Space Telescope Photo Gallery

This image made by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the tattered remains of a supernova explosion known as Cassiopeia A. It is the youngest k...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (AP) -- Hubble, it's your turn to smile for the cameras!

Friday marks the 25th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope's launch into orbit.

One of NASA's grandest achievements, Hubble has peered into the far recesses of the universe and provided humbling glimpses of stars at the moments of their birth and death. Its images have dazzled and inspired the world, both scientists and ordinary folk.

Its tally to date: more than 1.2 million observations of more than 38,000 celestial objects.

Launched by space shuttle Discovery on April 24, 1990, the telescope initially had blurry vision because of a flawed mirror. Spacewalking astronauts put in corrective lens, restoring not only Hubble's eyesight but NASA's integrity. Five times shuttle astronauts visited to make improvements and repairs. John Grunsfeld was on three of those missions and the last person to touch it, in 2009.

Astronomers have learned to use Hubble "in such exquisite ways" thanks to a quarter-century of operations, according to Grunsfeld, now NASA's associate administrator for science missions. He expects the observatory to keep wowing the world with its science for at least another five years.

"It really is the people's telescope," he said.


Updated : 2021-09-19 15:59 GMT+08:00