Thirty years ago, on April 24, 1990, NASA watched breathlessly as its groundbreaking Hubble Space Telescope shot into orbit far beyond Earth’s atmosphere. A true pioneer, Hubble is the only telescope designed to be maintained by astronauts in space—and it’s spent the past three decades tirelessly roaming the universe, beaming down moment after moment of extraterrestrial grandeur.
Now NASA is celebrating the 30th birthday of one of its longest living and most valuable observatories with a slate of events on its website and social media, including an archive that lets you see how the stars aligned on your own birthday.
During its 30-year voyage, Hubble has journeyed more than four billion miles around Earth, gathering images 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And as NASA notes, it’s witnessed “some fascinating cosmic wonder every day of the year,” from the neighborhood of planets in our solar system to the most distant galaxies in deep space, more than 13 billion lightyears from Earth.
And Hubble has transformed the study of astronomy—shedding light on dark matter, proving the acceleration of the universe, and capturing iconic snapshots of space that have changed the way we imagine our final frontier.
To see through Hubble’s eyes, check out NASA’s website here.