The Hubble Space Telescope was launched on April 24, 1990. With the 25th anniversary coming up, NASA is inviting the public to join celebrations around the nation and other parts of the world.
"Hubble 3D," an IMAX movie telling the story of the world's best-known space telescope, will be shown at theaters throughout the United States.
The National Air and Space Museum, managed by the Smithsonian Institution, will be featuring the Hubble observatory in a number of displays shown through the end of April.
"On April 23 from 9 to 9:45 a.m. EDT, NASA will unveil the official Hubble 25th anniversary image at the Newseum in Washington. NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden, Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate John Grunsfeld, and Hubble Senior Project Scientist Jennifer Wiseman, will speak about Hubble's achievements," NASA posted in an announcement.
Hubble Mania began on March 4 — NASA's version of March Madness. Viewers voted for their favorites from a total of 32 images taken by astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope. Following the semi-finals that ended on April 1, just two remain: the famous "Pillars of Creation" photo of the Eagle Nebula and a picture of a light echo in V838 Monocerotis. Voting ends on April 6.
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Complex is offering an educational program for children — "Hubble: A Blast from the Past!" Younger participants, aged 5-7 can learn about astronomy while "viewing" celestial objects in the facility's planetarium. Kids aged 8-13 can use a computer to design a habitat suitable for Mars. They will also learn how to classify deep-sky bodies, such as galaxies and black holes.
"Heaven's Carousel," an exhibit of some of the most important – and stunning – photographs taken with the Hubble will be on display from April 23 to May 2 at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. The showing is sponsored by the European Space Station, a NASA partner on the Hubble program.
A Hubble-themed Family Day Event will take place at the Smithsonian's NASM Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia on April 25. Astronauts will be on hand to talk with children of all ages as part of the celebrations.
Both Reagan National and Washington Dulles International airports will feature Hubble images in their baggage claim areas.
Not all the celebratory events will occur in the United States. On April 8, Instrument Team Lead Christina M. Oliveira will give a talk on the history of the Hubble program in Lisbon, Portugal.
The $2.5 billion Hubble Space Telescope orbits Earth 347 miles above the surface of the planet. After a faulty optical system ruined initial observations, an upgrade improved the performance of the observatory, providing astronomers and the public with decades of stunning imagery.