GREENBELT, Md., July 5 (UPI) -- NASA says the Hubble Space Telescope has passed another milestone, as the Earth-orbiting instrument recently logged its one-millionth science observation.
Although best known for its stunning imagery of the cosmos, Hubble's millionth observation was a spectroscopic measurement, where light is divided into its component colors, taken Monday during a search for water in an exoplanet's atmosphere 1,000 light-years away, a NASA release said Tuesday.
"For 21 years Hubble has been the premier space science observatory, astounding us with deeply beautiful imagery and enabling ground-breaking science across a wide spectrum of astronomical disciplines," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said.
"The fact that Hubble met this milestone while studying a faraway planet is a remarkable reminder of its strength and legacy."
Bolden was the pilot on the space shuttle mission that carried Hubble to orbit in 1990.
"The Hubble keeps amazing us with groundbreaking science," said U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, the chairwoman of the Senate Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee that funds NASA.
The observatory has collected more than 50 terabytes of data to date, all of it available to scientists and the public at http://hla.stsci.edu/.