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Here’s what NASA saw in the galaxy on your birthday

By Ching Yuen 6 April 2020

Outer space always evokes in us a sense of inexplicable attraction, explaining why so many of us are drawn to the study of astronomy and theories from astrology to find our sense of self and belonging within the universe. The incomparable Hubble Space Telescope has been one of the key links we have to understanding space and to celebrate its thirtieth year of service, NASA is releasing 366 star-charts that Hubble has recorded over the years. Now, this is what we call modern-age stargazing in the age of self-isolation and home quarantine!

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A bit of background before you go digging for your birthday star-chart: The Hubble Space Telescope was launched in 1990, taking pictures of the stars every day for the past thirty years. These pictures and star-charts contributed immensely to our studies of space and astronomy, which continue to this day. To commemorate the Hubble Space Telescope’s thirtieth anniversary, NASA launched What Did Hubble See on Your Birthday?, a campaign where they picked out 366 star-charts according to the days of the year.

All you need to do to glimpse what the galaxy looked like on your birthday is click into the NASA website here and enter your birth month and birth date. This will reveal your star-chart, one of many pulled from thirty years of images. For outer space buffs, you can also see more information on the astronomical phenomenons that you can find within the star-chart picture, as well as their names and descriptions. You can even download it in high-res to use as your phone background or to share with your family and friends!

Needless to say, every single star-chart picture is unique—some might be covered in glimmering stars, others might shows the faint flicker of the Milky Way, while many more could reveal comets and nebulas. Each picture carries the history of the human effort to understand space and bears physical evidence of how far we have come. Check out the NASA website here for your star-chart, or simply download the full list here if you’re reading on a computer screen.

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Having lived in Hong Kong, Beijing, and London sure is a fun fact whenever people try to guess Ching’s accent. She loves switching between all these language channels and her ‘mother tongue’ is just determined by how many drinks she’s had for the night! She loves movies, travelling, and exploring cities, from hidden alleys to gourmet dining, so feel free to hit her up if you need any suggestions for dinner!

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