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article imageOp-Ed: What you need to know about Hubble's 25th anniversary

By Paul Wallis     Apr 23, 2015 in Science
That young whippersnapper the Hubble Space Telescope has now made a quarter of a century. Just when you’d think it’d be settling down and having kids, or at least dating more, it’s still rampaging around the skies looking for dazzling things.
The seven primitive galaxies discovered by the Hubble Space Telescope
The seven primitive galaxies discovered by the Hubble Space Telescope
NASA
It's been 25 years well spent. Hubble came as a major revelation to both science and the public. Even with its original blurry lens, the universe came to life, very suddenly and very dramatically. The famous Deep Field picture added reality to theories of space and time which had previously been rather dry, color-less visualizations.
This was the Magellan/ Drake visual journey in to the unknown of astronomy, there for all to see as it happened. Whatever kind of space science comes next, Hubble’s place in history is immovable and irreplaceable. Hubble has brought with it the systems and knowledge base to manage future exploration and data. Hubble’s advent was the moment of humanity opening its eyes to really see the universe for the very first time. I’ve done 19 articles on Hubble in the last 8 years myself. It doesn’t get dull.
Hubble’s 25th anniversary picture is of the Westerlund 2 cluster, an oil painter’s dream of light. It’s appropriate that Hubble’s birthday is celebrated with decent fireworks.
The only sour note ever related to Hubble was the cheapskate “no repairs” edict issued by some spreadsheet-worshipper before the first repair visit. The howl from the public and science was astronomical, and the telescope was duly fixed. Exactly why non-scientists are even involved in decisions like these is debatable.
Why people don’t realize that Hubble could pay for itself as a training and historical facility is another question. Hubble is the root of visual observation science in its current form. Know the history of the science and how it works, know the logic of the systems and observation techniques, and you understand it a lot better.
Well, it’s only been 25 years. Here’s a link to Hubble’s vast range of pictures. Jewellers, match that.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
More about Hubble 25th anniversary, NASA, history of space exploration, Magellan, Drake
 
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