Hubble Space Telescope zooms into the Butterfly Nebula
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Dating back to 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope has been floating through space taking thousands of pictures every day. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) then picks one of these to act as its picture of the day. In fact, thanks to a useful tool on the space agency’s website you can now track back in time and look at what image was taken on your birthday.
What is the Hubble Telescope?
The Hubble Space Telescope is a massive telescope that was launched into space by NASA.
According to the space agency, the Hubble is “as long as a large school bus” and “weighs as much as two adult elephants”.
The Hubble spends its time travelling around Earth at five miles per second, which is the equivalent of driving a car from the east coast of the US to the west coast in just 10 minutes.
Facing towards space, the telescope takes pictures of planets, stars and galaxies.
Since its launch, the Hubble has witnessed the birth and death of stars, black holes and galaxies that are trillions of miles away.
It’s also witnessed comet pieces crash into the gases above Jupiter.
NASA has said that the Hubble “fundamentally changed our understanding of the cosmos, and its story – filled with challenges overcome by innovation, determination, and the human spirit – inspires us”.
Edwin P Hubble is the person the telescope attributes its name to.
He was an astronomer who made important discoveries about the universe in the early 1990s.
Overall, astronauts have visited the Hubble five times to fix it, adding new parts and cameras to the telescope.
The space agency added: “The Hubble explores the universe 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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“That means it has observed some fascinating cosmic wonder every day of the year, including on your birthday.”
To see what the Hubble saw on your birthday, you just need to head to the NASA website.
From there, select the month and date that you were born and hit submit to see what it saw on your birthday.
You’ll be shown a picture and will be given some information about what the Hubble saw.
If you click on the “more information” option, you’ll be taken to a new webpage on the Hubble site which tells you all about the image.
You can easily share your image to social media, such as Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, by clicking on the icons in the upper left corner.
The website said that for Firefox users, “you might need to turn off content blocking for this site in your browser’s privacy settings” if you’re wanting to share your Hubble birthday image on social media.
A text version of the tool is also available for screen readers.
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