One tool that’s been instrumental in this exploration is Hubble. Created by NASA and the ESA, Hubble launched in April 1990 as the most advanced space telescope of its time. Over 30 years later, it’s still hugely important! Hubble’s helped astronomers calculate the age of the universe and how quickly it’s expanding, get a better understanding of our own Solar System, and capture incredible photos of things millions of light-years away from Earth.
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As you might expect, operating Hubble for more than 30 years means it’s captured a tremendous number of photos. As NASA explains on its website, “Hubble explores the universe 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That means it has observed some fascinating cosmic wonder every day of the year, including on your birthday.” In honor of Hubble’s 30th anniversary in April 2020, NASA launched a section on its website called ‘What Did Hubble See On Your Birthday?’ It allows users to enter their birthday and see what photo Hubble took on that day — giving you a fun space picture to associate with your special day.
How To Use NASA’s Birthday Photo Website
The best part? Finding the Hubble photo NASA took on your birthday is extremely easy. Simply head to the ‘What Did Hubble See On Your Birthday’ section on NASA’s website and find the ‘Select Your Birth Date’ section at the bottom of the page. Click ‘Select Month’ to choose your birth month, click ‘Select Date’ to choose the day you were born, and then click ‘Submit’ to find the Hubble photo taken on that day. In less than a second, NASA shows the Hubble photo it took on your birthday.
Along with the photo itself, NASA also says what year it was taken and explains what it is. For my birthday on October 2, for example, Hubble took a picture of the GOODS South Field — an area of thousands of galaxies accounting for “more than 12 billion years of cosmic history.” There are share links at the top left of the picture, allowing you to quickly share it on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. There are also buttons to hide the background information, see the full image, or get even more info about it.
And that’s all there is to it! Refreshing the website resets the page so you can enter a different birthday and see a new Hubble for whatever other date you enter. The website also works on both computers and smartphones, though it is much better optimized for computers. Keep those tips in mind, and you’ll find the picture NASA took on your birthday in no time at all.