Today is the day, 25 years ago, that the Hubble space telescope launched from the Kennedy Space Centre aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. The world had high hopes for Hubble, but we had no idea what great treasures were waiting for us in the depths of the cosmos. No piece of technology in human history has, arguably, had a bigger impact on our understanding of the Universe.
For the 25th anniversary, International Astronomy day is coinciding to tomorrow’s anniversary of the deployment of Hubble, since it usually falls on a Saturday. Events across the world will include arts and crafts, Astronomy demonstrations, and of course, observing.
Of course it wouldn’t be like Hubble to celebrate without a special anniversary image. The Hubble team has produced an incredible image of the star cluster Westerlund 2, containing structures observed in both infrared and optical wavelengths.
Hubble will continue observations through 2018 and up to 2020. Ideally it will cease operations when the James Webb Space Telescope takes over, expected to launch in 2018.