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.

August 8, 1995

Columbia Waits, Discovery Launches
Credit: NASA, Kennedy Space Centre

Explanation: Space Shuttle Discovery launches while the Space Shuttle Columbia is readied for a future mission. Space shuttles are launched from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. At this date there are four operating space shuttles: Atlantis, Columbia, Discovery, and Endeavour. This mission is most famous for carrying the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit. The Hubble Space Telescope is the largest public optical telescope ever to operate in orbit, and because it is above Earth's atmosphere it's photographs are more clear than any ground based telescope. Hubble continues to make fundamental discoveries about planets, stars, galaxies, comets, QSOs, and the universe we live in.

Tomorrow's picture: Challenger Launches Spacelab 2

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.