APOD: February 17, 1996 - Edwin Hubble Discovers the Universe

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

February 17, 1996

Edwin Hubble Discovers the Universe
Credit: Mt. Wilson Archive, Carnegie Institution of Washington

Explanation: No person in history has had greater impact in determining the extent of our universe than Edwin Hubble. From proving that other galaxies existed to proving that galaxies move apart from one another, Hubble's work defined our place in the cosmos. Hubble lived from 1889 to 1953 and is shown above posing with the 48-inch telescope on Palomar Mountain and his famous pipe. In memory of his great work, the Orbiting Space Telescope was named after him. Today a great controversy rages on the rate of the universe's expansion, parameterized by a quantity known as Hubble's constant. A real live debate on this subject will take place in Washington, DC this April.

Tomorrow's picture: Abell 3627 in the Great Attractor

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