Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Friday 16 April |
Saint of the Day: St. Bernadette Soubirous
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

Counting down Advent with a little help from outer space (Photos)


The Atlantic Photo | Twitter | Fair Use

Cynthia Dermody - published on 12/11/18

The 2018 Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar is under way and better than ever.

Every year since 2008, Alan Taylor, the senior photo editor at The Atlantic, has been marking the countdown to Advent with spectacular images from the Hubble Space Telescope on his Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr pages. As he says every year in introducing the new images: “I hope you enjoy these amazing and awe-inspiring images and the efforts of the science teams who have brought them to Earth … Wishing you all a merry Christmas, happy holidays, and peace on Earth.”

The calendar, which you can bookmark and show to your kids every day, is a nice alternative to the more commercial versions of the Advent calendar available today, many of which involve opening a little paper door revealing a Bible verse or chocolate treat inside.

If you think about it, the vastness of the universe makes a lot more sense than chocolate treats when it comes to Advent, a time for reflection and preparation for the arrival of the  miraculous and the wondrous in our world, and in our hearts.

Pondering the vastness of the universe in these photos, like the rainbow-colored interstellar gas in the Lagoon Nebula 4,000 light years away, as well as images of other galaxies clashing and existing millions of light years away from us, is both mind-expanding and faith-nurturing. And after all, it was a star in the sky that first announced the birth of our Savior on our planet …

Enjoy a sampling from Taylor’s 2018 picks so far, and bookmark his pages up until December 25. (It’s totally worth the time to check out his past calendars as well.)


Read more:
“God is an artist, and the universe is His work of art.”

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
Annalisa Teggi
Amputee from the waist down is thankful every day to be alive
Zelda Caldwell
Mystery of crosses on walls of Church of the Holy Sepulchre may h...
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
Philip Kosloski
St. Padre Pio: His life, his miracles and his legacy
Philip Kosloski
Catholic prayers for strength
Cerith Gardiner
7 Joys to be had from a lengthy marriage
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.