(Image credit: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA).)
Since its launch over two decades ago, the Hubble Space Telescope has been reshaping our view of the Universe, and continues to do so. It’s been so successful for so long that it’s easy to forget that Hubble was almost killed before it ever truly got its chance. From supermassive black holes to the earliest proto-cluster of galaxies ever imaged, Hubble has revolutionized astronomy on the largest scales imaginable.
But it’s also transformed our understanding of the births and deaths of stars, the structure and mergers of galaxies, and, perhaps most spectacularly, has taught us about gravity on the largest and most distant scales.
Through gravitational lensing, Hubble has discovered galaxies stretched into arcs, spectacular examples where multiple images of the same galaxy appear, and — in perhaps a first — a galaxy so faint and so distant that it was detected only through the gravitational effects of its matter!
And although Hubble continues to impress in a huge way, more than 21 years since it saw first light, an Earth-based telescope has finally surpassed Hubble in terms of resolution! Still, Hubble is still #1 for a whole assortment of astronomical applications, and you shouldn’t waste another day; adopt the Hubble Space Telescope trap for your own!