It’s been 26 years since the Hubble Space Telescope was launched into orbit, but the Bubble Nebula picture unveiled to mark its birthday would make the great observatory feel like a kid again.
Anthropomorphizing inanimate objects is usually a bad idea: They hate that. But every April, the telescope’s science team releases an eye-opening picture as a birthday present. It’s not really for Hubble. It’s for its fans.
The telescope went into space aboard the shuttle Discovery on April 24, 1990, went through a mission-saving series of optical repairs in 1993, had its final servicing mission in 2009, and is continuing to send back jaw-dropping pictures of the universe.
Hubble has previously captured views of the Bubble Nebula, also known as NGC 7635. But this time, the science team knit together four images from the telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 to show off the bubble in its entirety.