On April 24, 1990, the space shuttle Discovery lifted off from Earth with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) aboard. The following day:
… Hubble was released into space, ready to peer into the vast unknown. Since then, Hubble has reinvigorated and reshaped our perception of the cosmos and uncovered a universe where almost anything seems possible within the laws of physics.
The quote above is from a NASA website where the agency explains its plans to celebrate Hubble’s 25th anniversary. The celebration begins on April 20, 2015 and runs through April 26. There are a lot of activities, some of which you can view here. If nothing else, don’t miss this awesome Flickr page, where NASA has selected one wonderful HST image for each year the telescope has been in orbit. The images on this page are from there. Activities also include:
– Starting at midnight EDT on Monday, April 20, and running through Sunday, April 26, images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope will be broadcast several times each hour on the Toshiba Vision dual LED screens in Times Square, New York.
– The IMAX movie Hubble 3D is playing at select theatres across the United States throughout April. Hubble images come to vast, three-dimensional life, taking audiences through the telescope’s 25-year existence and putting them in orbit with astronauts during the latest servicing mission. Click here for more information and the trailer.
– Commemorative 3-D Hubble model and logo files will be available beginning April 20. The files can be downloaded and printed using a 3-D printer and assembled into a miniature Hubble model.
NASA Television will air the following anniversary events:
– Thursday, April 23 (9 to 9:45 a.m.) — Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington — NASA will unveil the official Hubble 25th anniversary image at this public event, with remarks by NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden, Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate John Grunsfeld, Hubble Senior Project Scientist Jennifer Wiseman, and Space Telescope Science Institute Interim Director Kathryn Flanagan.
– Friday, April 24 (8 to 9 p.m.) — Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, 600 Independence Ave. SW, Washington — Astronauts, scientists, engineers, technicians, educators, and staff who have contributed to Hubble’s success will be honored at a closed ceremony, followed by talks from prominent officials whose significant contribution to space science have made Hubble possible. For media interviews, contact Dwayne Brown at 202-358-1726, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, April 25 (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) — National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, 14390 Air and Space Museum Pkwy., Chantilly, Virginia — The museum is holding an open family day event featuring panels of astronauts, scientists and engineers. Speakers will recount the history of Hubble and discuss its successor, the James Webb Space Telescope.
Bottom line: The Hubble Space Telescope is celebrating its 25th anniversary in orbit around Earth April 20-26, 2015. Information and links on how to join in.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.