April 24, 2012 - Anniversary of the Launch of the Hubble Space Telescope

– 1990

On this date in 1990, we Earth-lings gained an eye-in-the-sky—the best tele-scope ever boosted up into space at that time—so it could take a peep at the universe from above the hazy, cloudy, always-moving atmosphere. And so began a new age in astronomy!

The Hubble Space Telescope was lifted into orbit by the space shuttle Discovery. There was a serious problem with the mirror, and although some observations were carried out in the first three years, the HST wasn't able to do as much as scientists hoped. A solution was created by adding new optical elements to the telescope—like giving it eyeglasses! By the end of 1993, the space shuttle Endeavor was able to install the “eyeglasses,” and we began to gather amazing high-resolution photos of the universe.

Check out the Hubble photo gallery here

Someone has judged the “top 100” Hubble photos, found here. If you want a smaller assortment of the best, Discovery has 18 here.

Also on this date:

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