Hubble’s orbit outside the distortion of Earth’s atmosphere allows it to take extremely high-resolution images with almost no background light. Hubble’s Deep Field has recorded some of the most detailed visible – light images ever, allowing a deep view into space and time. Many Hubble observations have led to breakthroughs in astrophysics, such as accurately determining the rate of expansion of the universe. The HST was built by the United States space agency NASA, with contributions from the European Space Agency, and is operated by the Space Telescope Science Institute. Hubble is the only telescope designed to be serviced in space by astronauts. Between 1993 and 2002, four missions repaired, upgraded, and replaced systems on the telescope.
One of Hubble’s most famous images, Pillars of Creation shows stars forming in the Eagle Nebula. “Pillars of Creation” is a photograph taken by the Hubble Telescope of elephant trunks of interstellar gas and dust in the Eagle Nebula, some 7,000 light years from Earth, and about ten light-years tall.
They are so named because the gas and dust are in the process of creating new stars, while also being eroded by the light from nearby stars that have recently formed. The astronomers responsible for the photo were Jeff Hester and Paul Scowen.