On April 25, 1990, astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery deployed the Hubble Space Telescope into Earth orbit and launched a new era of astronomical discovery. In its quarter-century in orbit, the world’s first space telescope has transformed our understanding of our solar system and beyond, and helped us to find our place among the stars. Now, 25 years later, organizations around the world are joining in a celebration of this remarkable observatory whose ground-breaking investigations have brought revolutionary changes in our understanding from planets, stars, nebulae and galaxies to the very frontiers of the cosmos.
NASA is celebrating the Hubble Space Telescope’s 25th anniversary with a variety of events highlighting its scientific contributions, with activities running April 20-26.
- Starting at midnight ET on Monday, April 20, and running through Sunday, April 26, images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope are being 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.”
- Commemorative 3-D Hubble model and logo files can be downloaded and printed using a 3-D printer and assembled into a miniature Hubble model.
National Geographic Channel is marking the anniversary with a one-hour documentary that tells the definitive story of NASA’s most successful science project ever — Hubble’s Cosmic Journey — narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson. Next airing: Monday, April 27, 6 p.m. ET.
The National Air and Space Museum is celebrating with presentations and panels from NASA astronauts who worked on Hubble Space Telescope. Participants can learn about the astronomical advances made possible by Hubble and participate in educational activities for all ages on Saturday, April 25, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA. Admission: Free, Parking” $15
The Kalamazoo Astronomical Society is celebrating Astronomy Day 2015 on April 25. The keynote presentation, presented by Dr. Frank Summers of the Space Telescope Science Institute, will be held in the Cooper’s Glen Auditorium at the Kalamazoo Nature Center and will begin shortly after 7:00 pm. Summers is an outreach astrophysicist who “illuminates and elucidates the awesome beauty and intricate wonders of our universe. His expertise spans a diverse range from research cosmology and high-performance computing to scientific visualization, education and public engagement… His specialty is creating accurate and aesthetic scientific visualizations by combining research computer simulations and Hollywood rendering techniques.” Admission is FREE and tickets are not required. Observing will commence after the presentation if skies are clear. Kalamazoo Nature Center: 7000 N Westnedge Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49009
In addition, 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
- 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, VA – 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.
“Hubble’s launch and deployment in 1990 marked the most significant advance in astronomy since Galileo’s telescope. Above the distortion of the atmosphere, far far above rain clouds and light pollution, Hubble has an unobstructed view of the universe. Scientists have used Hubble to observe the most distant stars and galaxies as well as the planets in our solar system. Our view of the universe and our place within it has never been the same,” NASA states on its Hubble Space Telescope page. It is indeed a cause for special celebration.