New image of the universe by Hubble captures ancient galaxies

New image of the universe by Hubble captures ancient galaxies

But now an global team of astronomers has assembled a mosaic - a composite image - called the Hubble Legacy Field combining 7,500 separate exposures that captured around 265,000 galaxies over the last 16 years.

The portrait shows how galaxies change over time, building themselves up to become the giant galaxies, and the faintest and farthest galaxies are just one ten-billionth the brightness of what the human eye can see, according to a press release of NASA this week.

The leader of the team which was responsible for the creation of the image and a researcher at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Garth Illingworth said in a statement that compared to previous surveys this piece of information is more vast, and they can take advantage of Hubble's huge dataset in order to be more aware of the galaxies that are out of reach.


"Such exquisite high-resolution measurements of the numerous galaxies in this catalog enable a wide swath of extragalactic study", Katherine Whitaker, catalog lead researcher from the University of CT, said.

Edwin Hubble himself, for whom the telescope is named, once described galaxies as the "markers of space". "Previously, most of these exposures had not been put together in a consistent way that can be used by any researcher". By studying them, astronomers can learn about how elements were created, how the conditions for life began on Earth and how physics works in the universe.

Before Hubble, the best telescopes could see light from objects only about 7 billion light-years away. Astronomers used exposures taken by Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), installed in 2009, to assemble the eXtreme Deep Field snapshot in 2012.


"Hubble has looked at this area of the sky many times over many years, and now we have combined all these photographs into a single, very high-quality, wide-angle image".

The Hubble Legacy Fields program, supported through AR-13252 and AR-15027, is based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.

The HLF image contains 100 times as many galaxies as the previous deep field surveys - in part because it takes in a wider view. During this time, NASA's eye in the sky has continually astounded astronomers with incredible images of the cosmos.


Trying to capture the most distant galaxies is no easy feat: because they're so far, they're also extremely dim. Hubble's surveys of disc galaxies aim to explore the relationship between these black holes and their local galaxies.

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