NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope celebrates 30 years of science discoveries

On Friday 24 April 2020, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope celebrates 30 years of science discoveries that have revolutionised nearly all areas of current astronomical research, from planetary science to cosmology, and its countless pictures that are unmistakably out of this world.

With this email we would like to give you a heads up with what ESA is planning. If you would be interested in more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Activities planned
- Hubble 30th Anniversary press release to be published on Friday 24 April at 13:00 CEST with a new breathtaking image from the Hubble Space telescope.

- Join us for a live streamed conversation with Hubble experts from around the world to mark the anniversary of the iconic observatory. Guests will reflect on Hubble’s impact on their professional careers, the development of astronomy as a discipline, and the public perception of our Universe. The conversations will take place according to following schedule on ESA Web TV on Friday 24 April:

16:30 CEST - Italian
17:15 CEST - French
18:00 CEST - German
18:45 CEST - Spanish
19:30 CEST - English

- Wish Hubble a Happy Birthday! On April 10th, an announcement was published inviting followers to wish Hubble a Happy 30th birthday by creating a birthday cake, with whatever they have available in the house and to share their cake with images and videos using #Hubble30BDayCake and #Hubble30 on Twitter and Instagram.

- Let’s say thank you to Hubble — Call for Artistic Creations: an announcement with the press release for a call for artistic creations from those aged 3 to 30 from ESA Member States that celebrate and thank Hubble. Artistic work of all kinds - including drawings, paintings, photography, sculptures, and graphic designs - will be welcomed. Inspiration for submissions can include Hubble's 30th birthday, the spacecraft, Hubble's scientific achievements and imagery, or the conception of an anniversary image of their own. Submissions will be made online and a selection of art pieces will be used for dedicated albums on Facebook and Flickr, and future outreach initiatives (including a Hubblecast). We also invite those submitting artwork to share their pieces on social media using #Hubble30Art and #Hubble30.

- Facebook watch party of special anniversary videos on Friday at 15:00-16:30 CEST on

ESA/NASA collaboration

Expanding the frontiers of the visible Universe, the Hubble Space Telescope looks deep into space with cameras that can see across the entire optical spectrum from infrared to ultraviolet.

The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is a 2.4 m-diameter space telescope optimised to observe from the ultraviolet to the infrared, collaborated between ESA and NASA. Launched in 1990 and designed for refurbishment by astronauts, Hubble is one of the greatest scientific projects. Opening our eyes to the wonders of our ‘planetary’ backyard and beyond, it has revolutionised modern astronomy by being an efficient tool for making new discoveries and changing the way research is done.

ESA has been a partner with NASA on the Hubble Mission since its very beginning in 1975. ESA has, among other things, provided the Faint Object Camera (one of the mission’s instruments), the first two sets of solar wings that powered the spacecraft, and a team of space scientists and engineers at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), the Science Operation Centre for Hubble in Baltimore, USA.

Europe's contribution to HST entitles European astronomers to 15% of the telescope's observing time, but in June 2012 European scientists were awarded a record 26.5% of observing time. The European science archive for the Hubble Space Telescope is located at ESA’s European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC) in Villanueva de la Cañada near Madrid, Spain. Until June 2012 it was hosted by the Space Telescope European Coordinating Facility (ST-ECF), located at the headquarters of the European Southern Observatory near Munich, Germany.

More info:

Hubble fact sheet:

Important for the Netherlands

Hubble's third-generation rigid solar array were tested at ESTEC in the Large Space Simulator (LSS) test chamber, which was not available when the earlier European-made Hubble arrays had been constructed. The technicians prepare to disconnect it from the crane. This US array is a third smaller than previous European designs, with no need for flexibility since it is not going to be returned to Earth on a Space Shuttle.
ESTEC, Noordwijk, 23 October 2000. (Hubble Servicing Mission 3B)

More info and image:

More information on the testing at ESA ESTEC in Noordwijk:

Press release from October 2000 announcing testing in ESA ESTEC Noordwijk:

Image of a Hubble solar array, which flew for 8 years, now exhibited at ESA ESTEC in Noordwijk:

James Webb Space Telescope

Successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will help us to find out more about the origins of the Universe by observing infrared light from the youngest galaxies and possibly the first stars. It will show us in detail how stars and planetary systems form and will also allow us to study planets both in our Solar System and those orbiting around other stars.

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is designed to expand the scientific success of Hubble. Being a 'cool' telescope, JWST is designed to operate at very low temperatures (around -230° C). This will give us an unprecedented view of the Universe at near and mid-infrared wavelengths and will allow scientists to study a wide variety of celestial objects, ranging from planets in the Solar System to nearby stars, from neighbouring galaxies out to the farthest reaches of the very distant Universe. JWST is required to operate for a minimum of five years, planned for ten.

JWST is very big: its primary mirror has an area seven times larger than that of Hubble, which will make it much more sensitive. JWST will combine superb image quality, a large field of view, and a low level of background light with a highly stable environment. All of these characteristics set JWST apart from other existing or planned observatories and will open a new field of scientific discovery.

The James Webb Space Telescope is an international project led by NASA with its partners, ESA and the Canadian Space Agency. As part of its contribution to the project, ESA provides the NIRSpec instrument, the Optical Bench Assembly of the MIRI instrument, the Ariane 5 launcher, and staff to support mission operations at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, USA.

More info:

Further information
More information about ESA:

Terms and conditions for using ESA images:

Terms and conditions for using ESA videos:

21 August 2020

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured the closest images yet of the sky's latest visitor to make the headlines, comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE, after it passed by the Sun. The new images of the comet were taken on 8 August and feature the visitor's coma, the fine shell that surrounds its nucleus, and its dusty output.

Comet NEOWISE is the brightest comet visible from the Northern Hemisphere since 1997's Hale-Bopp comet. It's estimated to be travelling at over 60 kilometres per second. The comet's closest approach to the Sun was on 3 July and it's now heading back to the outer reaches of the Solar System, not to pass through our neighbourhood again for another 7000 years.

Hubble's observation of NEOWISE is the first time a comet of this brightness has been photographed at such high resolution after its pass by the Sun. Earlier attempts to photograph other bright comets (such as comet ATLAS) proved unsuccessful as they disintegrated in the searing heat.


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Like everyone getting older Hubble isn’t without its issues.

Like everyone getting older Hubble isn’t without its issues.

Wonder what the problem was that caused Hubble to go into safe mode? But it is good news that everything is back to normal and Hubble is operating normally now.

Let's hope that it works Grey Havoc. It would be sad to lose Hubble, I know that the James Webb Space Telescope is going to be launched in October but it would not be the same as Hubble.
Since we have no other Hubble thread...
I am at lost, relative to NASA early space telescope studies.

There is OTAES and OTES: Apollo telescopes (attached documents, at least the not too big ones)

There is LTEP: Lockheed 2 m telescope eventually attached to a Skylab in place of ATM. (all of them too big, sorry)

And there is MOT: Boeing early 120-inch telescope study (next message)


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MOT files (the two small enough)


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