Are you curious what space object or event was photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope on your birthday? The NASA website allows you to check it out for yourself.
Under this address, you can see what one of the most important instruments in the history of astronomy was able to capture on a specific day. All you have to do is enter the day and month of your birthday. The next thing you’ll see is a photo taken on the day you selected, along with a brief description of what is in frame.
NASA and Michigan Technological University have been keeping a registry of photos taken by Hubble since 1995. Known as The Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) , it has been estimated to have collected over a billion photos over the past 17 years.
This number of photos is therefore sufficient to cover all the days of the year. As we can read on the website, the Hubble Telescope works 24/7, which means that every day of the year is full of cosmic events that have been successfully captured – including those from your birthday.
In my case, I found out that on May 5, the device captured the center of our galaxy. The image was taken in infrared – it shows a massive cluster of stars and complex structures surrounded by ionized gas. Huge amounts of this type of gas swirl in the center of the Milky Way, which is most likely related to the black hole there.
The Hubble telescope, which has been in operation with minor interruptions since 1990, will slowly be handing over the priority of the most important telescopes in space. This is, of course, the recently launched James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which was launched into space on Christmas 2021.
The JWST has already reached its destination. The apparatus is currently being prepared and calibrated. In January, the procedure of unfolding the huge telescope mirror also began. It is worth adding that it is much larger than that of Hubble. It is also 100 times more sensitive – thanks to this, scientists will be able to look at the early phase of the universe that followed shortly after the Big Bang.
JWST will be able to fully replace Hubble around May and June 2022. NASA confirms that by then all procedures should be completed and the device will provide us with the first photographed regions of space.
On my birthday, I was able to see an amazing photo of the center of the Milky Way. What did Hubble show you? Show off your birthday discovery in a comment.
Main picture source: nasa.gov