Monday, April 30, 2012
Happy Birthday, Hubble
It's hard to believe the Hubble Space Telescope is already 22 years old. It seems like just yesterday it was sent out there into the great unknown. I guess that's the first sign that you're getting old: when things that happened two decades ago seem like they were just yesterday. The good news, though, is that Hubble has 22 years of amazing photographs under its belt, and courtesy of this post at Brain Pickings you can see a few of my personal favorites. Have you ever glimpsed anything as stunning as the towering gases of the Carina Nebula? You wouldn't have, if NASA hadn't funded this deep space explorer back when I was young. It's outlived the shuttle program, and it's soon to be replaced by a newer, presumably even better deep space telescope, but it's hard to argue with the images this machine has delivered to humanity—glimpses of the cosmos that we would never have begun to understand otherwise. A pretty remarkable feat for photography, I would say. Celebrate two decades of Hubble imagery with the new National Geographic monograph filled with stunning photographs and scientific explanations that make the jaw-dropping images even more remarkable.