Fresh off a celebration for the Hubble Space Telescope’s 30th birthday, National Geographic took time to peruse and publish select photos from the remarkable research tool’s past three decades. Living well beyond its initial 10-year term, the telescope has helped agencies answer long-held questions and inspire generations to continue searching. From “How old is the universe?” (13.8 billion years old) to “Do black holes actually exist? (yes, with frightening ferocity),” plenty of the foundational equations and discoveries used to inform space research today came courtesy of Hubble. “One of Hubble’s lasting achievements will be how it showed the public the wonders of the universe,” Kenneth Sembach, director of the Space Telescope Science Institute, tells NatGeo. See some of the incredible images there.