The Hubble orbits the Earth above our atmosphere, allowing it to view the universe more clearly than telescopes on the ground. Light pollution from cities can also make it difficult for us to view the night sky.
NASA has released the most colorful image of the universe to date, a composite of images taken over a nine-year period by the Hubble Space Telescope and revealing around 10,000 galaxies spread across space. The image also combines ultraviolet light imagery to reveal stars we couldn't see previously and includes galaxies dating as old as ten billion years.
DID YOU KNOW?
• Hubble has been orbiting Earth for more than 30 years, beaming hundreds of thousands of images back to the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
• It takes Hubble 97 minutes to make a trip around the world. At this rate, it would make it from Los Angeles to Boston in about ten minutes!
• Hubble has played a role in discoveries such as the age of the universe (13 to 14 billion years) and dark energy (a force that causes the universe to expand at an accelerated rate).
• The telescope was named after astronomer Edwin Hubble, who proved that the universe was expanding and showed that fuzzy lights in the night sky are actually other galaxies.
• Any astronomer in the world can submit a proposal and request time on the telescope. All findings are eventually shared with the entire scientific community.