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NASA Will Tell You What Hubble Space Telescope Saw On Your Birthday

by : Julia Banim on : 11 Apr 2020 11:04
NASA Will Tell You What Hubble Space Telescope Saw On Your BirthdayNASA Will Tell You What Hubble Space Telescope Saw On Your BirthdayNASA

The year 2020 marks a very important moment in the history of space exploration, with the Hubble Space Telescope celebrating its thirtieth birthday.

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Yup. One of the most famous objects ever to be sent out into orbit has been going strong for 30 years, capturing countless breathtaking sights. Talk about making the rest of us feel unaccomplished.

To celebrate this important anniversary, NASA is giving star gazers across the world the opportunity to find out what the telescope saw on their own birthday.

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All you have to do is select the month and date of your birthday on the NASA website, and you can find out what extraordinary things were going on in the universe while you were cutting your cake.

Many are sharing their results on Twitter and Instagram using #Hubble30, and the results are – quite literally – out of this world.

For example, on my ninth birthday, Hubble spotted NGC 1999, a reflection nebula that doesn’t emit any visible light on its own but ‘shines only because the light from the star just to the left of the center illuminates the nebula’s dust’.

Of course, at the time I was completely unaware of such goings on, and was only interested in zooming around on my new micro scooter. However, it’s kind of cool to look back and realise how many secrets of the universe have been unravelled at the same time as ordinary moments in your own life.

Described as being the approximate size of a school bus, the Hubble telescope was originally launched in 1990, and has since made more than 1.4 million observations of numerous stars, planets and galaxies.

Speeding around Earth at a breezy 27,000 kilometres per hour (17,000mph), according to ScienceAlert, this telescope can point towards faraway objects with the accuracy of a laser beam directed towards one particular detail of a coin placed around 320 kilometres away (200 miles).

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The telescope is even able to observe events that happened in the unimaginably distant past – looking at occurrences that took place 13.4 billion light-years from Earth.

According to the NASA website:

Hubble explores the universe 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That means it has observed some fascinating cosmic wonder every day of the year, including on your birthday.

Examples shared on social media include images of the stars at the galactic core, and gorgeous shots of Jupiter.

You can check out the NASA birthday tool for yourself here.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: News, birthday, Hubble Space Telescope, NASA, Space

Credits

NASA and 1 other
  1. NASA

    What Did Hubble See on Your Birthday?

  2. Science Alert

    What Did Hubble Capture on Your Birthday? New NASA Tool Lets You Find Out