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We at OpticsPlanet.com love science and astronomy, and while many of us own nice astronomical telescopes to peer into the heavens, we cannot stop enjoying the beautiful space pictures delivered by one of the most amazing and important instruments in the history of modern astronomy - Hubble Space Telescope ( HST ). Although modern ground-based astronomy telescopes are exceptional and feature computer systems and high-quality adaptive optics compensating for the atmosphere shimmer, NASA Hubble Space Telescope posses that unparalleled ability to look into deepest space from well above our planet being free from the atmospheric turbulence that all telescopes on Earth must contend.

Read more about the Hubble Telescope

The Hubble Space Telescope was originally launched by NASA aboard the Space Shuttle in 1990 with a planned mission lifetime of 15 years. Since then Hubble telescope has been serviced or upgraded four times. Over the years the Hubble, the largest (94 inc./2.4m) and the most complex reflector telescope ever put into orbit, has generated thousands of significant scientific discoveries, and based on the data that has been gathered, we will be discovering more and more. The science return from Hubble Telescope has already vastly exceeded the original expectations. Not since Galileo built his telescope in 1610 has any event so changed our understanding of the space and universe as NASA's launch of the Hubble Space Telescope. In December, 1993, the crew of Space Shuttle Endeavour fixed the infamous flawed Hubble Space Telescope mirror and upgraded on-board image sensors, and since then, the HST has pushed its brilliant imaging to the very edge of the universe.

From HST orbit above Earth's atmosphere, the Hubble Space Telescope has been able to return stunning images of astounding clarity. Hubble's imaging and spectroscopy have resulted in remarkable scientific achievements including the determination of the changing rate of expansion of the universe and detailed studies of forming galaxies, black holes, galaxy hosts of gamma-ray bursts and quasars, active galactic nuclei, protostars, planetary atmospheres, the interstellar and intergalactic medium.  And of course, thousands of never-before-seen space photos delivered by Hubble's Advanced Wide Field Planetary Cameras and photo systems.

Hubble Space Telescope is without a doubt a national asset. Scientists all over the world use this fascinating orbiting observatory to get a view of the universe that they can't get any other way.  The Astronomy community through a number of web sites fought to save the Hubble, and there is a good chance that NASA will continue operation of the Hubble Space Telescope.  Let's hope the astronomers and space enthusiasts will be able to continue enjoying the exciting and groundbreaking science discoveries and the deepest view of our universe.

For a special collection of Hubble's most spectacular portraits of our universe please visit Hubble Photo Gallery at HubbleSite.org

All space images on this page are copyright of NASA and STScI.