Thursday, April 21

Happy birthday Hubble! You’re 21 today

The Hubble Space Telescope reached its 21st birthday today, and to celebrate NASA released a picture taken by the telescope after its first alcoholic drink. This loopy, fake-looking Astonishing Science Fiction pulp magazine cover-like picture shows that Hubble can’t handle its booze.

Actually, this photo was made December 17, 2010 using three separate filters that show ultraviolet, blue and red portions of the light spectrum. The deployment of Hubble has revolutionized nearly all areas of astronomical research.

Hubble is locked into earth orbit, so it took STEREO, a pair of satellites that show both sides of the sun simultaneously, to conclusively prove that the sun doesn’t have a dark side.

Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI / AURA). Sun picture: BBC

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