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On its birthday, Hubble telescope keeps reaching out for deep-space secrets

Hubble directly images possible water plumes on Jupiter moon Europa

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope took direct ultraviolet images of the icy moon Europa transiting across the disk of Jupiter. Out of 10 observations, Hubble saw what may be water vapor plumes on three of the images. This adds another piece of support
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NASA's Hubble Space Telescope took direct ultraviolet images of the icy moon Europa transiting across the disk of Jupiter. Out of 10 observations, Hubble saw what may be water vapor plumes on three of the images. This adds another piece of support

The Hubble Space Telescope turns 27 on Thursday, marking another milestone for earth’s eye on space that has brought immense amounts of new knowledge down to the home planet during its lifetime.

In a post on its Facebook page, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration noted that “Today’s college undergraduates have not known a time in their lives when astronomers were not actively making discoveries with Hubble data.”

During its lifetime, the great instrument has undergone repairs and upgrades, described in a 2015 Washington Post article as the “equivalent of knee and hip replacement surgery.”

In honor of Hubble’s latest milestone, here are stories about it and images it has produced.

▪  Hubble telescope: Powerful, dominant and stranded in space

▪  Hubble telescope finds a smiley face in space

▪  NASA just saw Europa’s geysers erupting into space. Again.

The Hubble

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The Hubble Space Telescope, as seen from the International Space State. The Hubble was sent into space in 1990 and has gathered innumerable images and huge amounts of valuable information during its lifetime. NASA Associated Press

Deep-space galaxy

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This image provided by the Space Telescope Science Institute, taken with the Hubble Space Telescope, shows a hot, star-popping galaxy that is far, far away, farther than any previously detected, from a time when the universe was a mere toddler of about 400 million years old. Space Telescope Science Institute Associated Press

Ring Nebula

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This image made by the Hubble Space Telescope shows Messier 57, the Ring Nebula. A full decade in the making, Hubble rocketed into orbit on April 24, 1990, aboard space shuttle Discovery. NASA/ESA, C. Robert O'Dell Associated Press

Space gas, dust

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This February 2010 image made by the Hubble Space Telescope shows a three-light-year-tall pillar of gas and dust in the Carina Nebula which is being eaten away by the light from nearby bright stars. Inside, infant stars fire off jets of gas that can be seen streaming from towering peaks. The stellar nursery is located 7,500 light-years away in the southern constellation of Carina. The colors in this composite image correspond to the glow of oxygen (blue), hydrogen and nitrogen (green), and sulphur (red). NASA Associated Press

Mars is in opposition today, May 22, 2016, meaning the Earth will be passing directly between Mars and the sun. That could make Mars brighter than any star or planet in the night sky. Hubble Space Telescope imaged Mars 10 days before today's pheno

“Pillars of Creation”

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This image made by the Hubble Space Telescope shows the Eagle Nebula's “Pillars of Creation.” With more than 1 million observations, including those of the farthest and oldest galaxies ever beholden by humanity, no man-made satellite has touched as many minds or hearts as Hubble. NASA Associated Press

Galaxies and more galaxies

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This image made by the Hubble Space Telescope shows a group of five galaxies known as Stephan’s Quintet. NASA Associated Press

Comet on the move

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This March 27, 2014, image provided by shows comet C/2013 A1, also known as Siding Spring, as captured by Wide Field Camera 3 on NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. NASA Associated Press

Space youngsters

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This undated image made available by the European Space Agency shows galaxies in the Abell 2744 cluster, and blue galaxies behind it, distorted and amplified by gravitational lensing. The long-exposure image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope shows some of the intrinsically faintest and youngest galaxies ever detected in visible light. NASA Associated Press

Staring at Jupiter

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This April 3, 2016, image made available by NASA shows the planet Jupiter when it was at a distance of about 668 million kilometers (415 million miles) from Earth. Jupiter is extra close and extra bright this week, and the Hubble Space Telescope took advantage of the opportunity to make this photo of the gas giant. NASA, ESA, and A. Simon Associated Press

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