Hubble Telescope "Light Painting" Photo Is Beautiful Mistake

Even smarty pants robot cameras screw-up sometimes

Hubble Space Telescope Light Painting Mistake Photo

Hubble Space Telescope Light Painting Mistake Photo

Credit: ESA/NASA

The Hubble Space Telescope is capable of beaming back to earth some truly amazing photos. Today, however, we're reminded that it's also capable of messing up and beaming back what is essentially a piece of abstract art.

The telescope itself is constantly moving, so when it wants to take a photo, it relies on a system that compensates for its rotation. It does so by locking onto a "reference star." In this case, it apparently locked onto a bad reference point and the result is this abstract example of light painting.

it's not nearly as educational as a typical Hubble photo, but it is pretty cool. It's also nice to know that we're not the only ones that mess up our photos from time to time.