Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day we feature a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

August 10, 1995
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The Orbiting Hubble Space Telescope
Credit: NASA, Space Telescope Scientific Institute

Explanation: The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is the largest orbiting public optical telescope in history. Its 2.4 meter diameter reflecting mirror and its perch above Earth's atmosphere allow it to create exceptionally sharp images. Originally launched in 1990, HST optics were repaired to their intended accuracy in 1993 by the first of several regular servicing missions. Astronomers using HST continue to make numerous monumental scientific discoveries, including new estimates of the age of our universe, previously unknown galaxies, evidence of massive black holes in the centers of galaxies, previously unknown moons, and a better understanding of physical processes in our universe.

Tomorrow's picture: The Compton Gamma Ray Observatory

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Astronomy Picture of the Day (TM) is created by Robert Nemiroff and Jerry Bonnell who are solely responsible for its content. Text copyright 1995 by Robert Nemiroff and Jerry Bonnell.