Goals: The Hubble Space Telescope was designed to provide clear and deep views of distant galaxies and stars and most of the planets in our solar system. Hubble’s domain extends from the ultraviolet, through the visible, and to the near-infrared.
Accomplishments: Lasting far beyond its planned lifetime, Hubble has had a major impact in every area of astronomy, from the solar system to objects at the edge of the universe. Results from the orbiting telescope are the backbone of more than 3,500 technical papers. It also, of course, continues to dazzle with stunning pictures of stars, galaxies and planets. The Hubble Deep Field image showing thousands of galaxies in a tiny speck of sky is one of the most memorable images in human history.
A few highlights: The orbiting telescope provided the first evidence our Universe is expanding more quickly than it has in the past. It made a more precise estimate of the age of universe (12 to 13 billion years old). And it helped scientists uncover the recipe for planets, reinforcing an assumption that planets are common in our universe and aiding in the search for Earthlike worlds.