I couldn’t put my hands on it because it was sealed in an enormous, pressurized steel case. But that didn’t matter. The Hubble Telescope camera was within two feet of my eager eyes. The camera responsible for the most iconic images of outer space ever taken, the invention that Galileo himself would have likely given his life to see, the object of my wonder and awe was brought to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science on Oct. 15, 2010. The “Camera that saved Hubble” remains on display for exactly one more week at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. If you happen to be in Denver, be sure to walk into the main entrance and catch an eye full of the Hubble camera before it is gone. The last day to see this incredible invention up close and personal will be Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010.
If you happen to miss your opportunity to see the real Hubble camera, you will still have the opportunity to see the Hubble 3D IMAX film, which currently has no closing date listed. My husband and I saw the film before the DMNS recently converted its IMAX theatre to 3-D a month ago, and the experience was still jaw-dropping.
The Hubble Telescope has provided the most detailed images ever taken of space beyond our comfortable Earth in the 20 years since its launch on April 25, 1990. It is the only one of NASA’s four great observatories that must be serviced by space shuttle astronauts. In 2009, astronauts repaired Hubble in an extraordinary series of missions, extending its life for many years to come. With the end of the US Space Shuttle Program in sight, I fervently hope the Hubble will remain healthy.
With Hubble’s first 20 years, we gained insight into the processes that gave rise to our solar system, uncovered evidence of the universe’s expansion, and have been inspired to solve one of the universe’s deepest mysteries — dark energy. In 20 more years, as my own son grows to understand his mother’s obsession with this piece of technology, I hope he feels the same sense of apprehensive excitement that drives me to deeply appreciate this modern marvel.
Denver Museum of nature and Science Press Release; “Camera That Saved Hubble”
Associated Content; Jennifer Tarbox; “Hubble Hoo-Ray!”