No other single scientific device has gathered more data, confirmed more theories, made more discoveries, and given us more pure visual joy and awe than the Hubble Space Telescope — the single most useful science instrument ever created. NASA has just published some updated statistics to prove it.
- Hubble has made more the 1 million observations since its mission began in 1990.
- Hubble has observed 38,000 celestial targets.
- As of Hubble's 24th anniversary in April 2014, Hubble's observations have taken up more than 100 terabytes of data.
- Hubble currently generates 844 gigabytes of data per month.
- About 4,000 astronomers from all over the world have used the telescope to probe the universe.
- Astronomers using Hubble data have published more than 11,000 scientific papers, making it one of the most productive scientific instruments ever built.
Here are some vital statistics too:
- Hubble captures pictures of stars, planets and galaxies from its orbit around Earth while moving at 17,500 mph.
- Hubble has orbited Earth more than 3 billion miles along a circular low-Earth orbit of about 350 miles altitude
- Hubble weighs 24,500 pounds — as much as two full-grown elephants.
- Hubble's primary mirror is 2.4 metres (7 feet, 10.5 inches) across.
- Hubble is 13.3 metres (43.5 feet) long — the length of a large school bus.
What an incredible machine. Godspeed, Hubble! Here's hoping you never ever stop working, no matter what.