On April 24, 1990, the space shuttle Discovery was launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center to undergo mission STS-31. The mission successfully deployed the Hubble Space Telescope, one of the largest telescopes to have ever been blasted into space, which is still fully operational today.
There were big plans in place to celebrate the orbiting photography wizard’s big Three-Oh, but, like for many people born in April, May, and the months to come, celebrations will now be muted. While the COVID-19 outbreak has put a dampener on the party, you can still celebrate the astronomy legend by taking a look at some of the most jaw-dropping photos captured by the Hubble Telescope over the years.
A new generator launched by NASA shows you what Hubble has been looking at on your birthday. With an extensive portfolio of stunning intergalactic photography, space certainly put on more than its birthday suit to celebrate your special day.
"Hubble explores the universe 24 hours a day, seven days a week," reads the website. "That means it has observed some fascinating cosmic wonder every day of the year, including on your birthday."
So, want to know what Hubble was looking at on your birthday? Simply click this link and enter your birthday. You can also share your results and take a look at what other people got by following the hashtag #Hubble30. Here are some of the most spectacular results our searches have yielded.
February 21, Monkey Head Nebula
This image captured by Hubble back in 2014 shows the carved knots of gas and dust that make up just a small section of the Monkey Head Nebula. The star-forming region has an ethereal appearance as ashy dust clouds are backlit by glowing gas.
May 4 Cat’s Eye Nebula
Discovered by William Herschel, the Cat's Eye Nebula is the result of a dying star and one of the most complex planetary nebulas known. This photo, taken in 2019, shows the spherical bubbles of material being ejected by the star (seen in the image as a series of concentric rings).
October 13, Herbig-Haro 24
For October babies, the Hubble has brought up this picture taken in 2019 of a partially obscured newborn star (the same year A Star Is Born cleaned up in awards season – coincidence? We think not.) The baby star can be seen shooting twin jets into the surrounding gas and dust. The name Herbig-Haro 24 refers to sections of nebulosity that are lit up due to shocks from the collision in the formation of the new star.