[PHOTOS] Hubble turns 28

[PHOTOS] Hubble turns 28

The Hubble Space Telescope celebrated its 28th year in orbit on Tuesday.

Hubble Space Telescope
This week in 2002, space shuttle Columbia and STS-109 launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center to begin the fourth Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission. Photo: NASA

The Hubble Space Telescope, named after the late astronomer Edwin Hubble, has been in orbit for the past 28 years.

It was launched on 24 April, 1990, and has been circulating the earth at a speed of roughly 27,300 km/h.

According to NASA, Hubble has made more than 1.3 million observations resulting in over 15 000 scientific papers, and countless jaw-dropping moments.

NASA describes its launch into orbit as the "most significant advance in astronomy since Galileo's telescope".

"Scientists have used Hubble to observe the most distant stars and galaxies as well as the planets in our solar system," NASA states on its website.

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