24 April 2020

Happy birthday to Hubble Space Telescope

Anniversary:

The Cosmic DAWN Center at the Niels Bohr Institute is pleased to wish the Hubble Space Telescope a happy birthday celebrating 30 years in orbit!

The Cosmic DAWN Center wish the Hubble Space Telescope a happy birthday celebrating 30 years in orbit
The Cosmic DAWN Center wish the Hubble Space Telescope a happy birthday celebrating 30 years in orbit.

The satellite observatory has orbited the Earth some 165,000 times since its launch on board the Space Shuttle Discovery on 24 April 1990. A huge fraction of these orbits have yielded data and measurements that have helped us to better understand the cosmos and humanity's place in it, from characterising the atmospheres of planets orbiting nearby stars in our own Milky Way galaxy to measuring the expansion rate of the Universe itself. 

Hubble observations form a critical part of many past discoveries and ongoing research projects at DAWN at the University of Copenhagen and DTU. For example, DAWN director and NBI Professor Sune Toft used Hubble images to resolve the extremely dense cores of distant massive galaxies and Associate Professor Gabriel Brammer used Hubble spectra to measure the distance to the furthest object currently known, a brilliant starburst galaxy as it formed just 400 million years after the Big Bang.

Hubble is still going strong, with its data contributing to 1,000 scientific papers or more each year, and its spectacular images inspiring generations to both look up at the sky in wonder and also to appreciate the Earth around them. 

We wish Hubble many more productive orbits to come!