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Colorful image from the Hubble space telescope.
April 2020


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Hubble Legacy

30 Years of Discoveries and Images
Jim Bell

Looking deep into space, by definition, means looking back in time — and the Hubble Space Telescope can look very far back, including at stars, nebulae and galaxies that are millions, even billions, of years old. If there is a single legacy of Hubble as it turns 30 years old and nears the end of its useful life, it is this: It has done more to chronicle the origin and evolution of the known universe than any other instrument ever created. Hubble has also captured an astounding collection of ultraviolet images that include geysers of solar light, Mars’ famous dust storms, exploding stars, solar flares, globular clusters and actual galaxies colliding. As for scientific milestones, Hubble has helped us learn that the universe is 13.8 billion years old, that just about every large galaxy features a black hole at its center, and that it's possible to create 3D maps of dark matter. "Hubble Legacy" will not only feature the most stunning imagery captured by the telescope, but also explain how Hubble has advanced our understanding of the universe — and our very creation.


Jim Bell is a professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration. He is heavily involved in NASA solar system exploration missions like those of the Mars rovers Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity. 

Praise for this book

"Along with his clear description of the Hubble Space Telescope’s setbacks and successes, Jim Bell has compiled an exquisite collection of stunning photographs of the universe. Have many long looks — your tax dollars at work — at an astronomer’s catalog of the cosmos."

Bill Nye
CEO, The Planetary Society