Monumental Hubble Telescope Mosaic Is A Celestial History Book Of Galaxies

Monumental Hubble Telescope Mosaic Is A Celestial History Book Of Galaxies

U.S. space agency NASA has named the resulting photograph, containing 265,000 galaxies which stretch back to mere 500 million years after the Big Bang, the Hubble Legacy Field.

Astronomers have put together the largest and most comprehensive "history book" of galaxies into one single image, using 16 years' worth of observations from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

"Now that we have gone wider than in previous surveys, we are harvesting many more distant galaxies in the largest such dataset ever produced", Garth Illingworth of the University of California, Santa Cruz, leader of the team that assembled the image, said in a statement.

This new image combines observations from a number of Hubble deep-field surveys that have been taken across 16 years and the team behind it spent no less than 250 days to bring it to life. The team is now working on a second set of images that total more than 5,200 additional Hubble exposures.

Since 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope has been providing astronomers and non-astronomers alike a glimpse - and think about that for just a second, because it is just a glimpse - of those vast, perhaps unknowable, mysteries, triggering the imaginations of anyone who has ever looked on the star-painted skies with awe.

The Hubble focuses on areas in deep outer space "where some of the most profound mysteries are still buried in the mists of time".

The Hubble Space Telescope is one of the most powerful long-term observatories in the entire world, focusing nearly entirely on areas in deep outer space.

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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 new portrait, a mosaic of multiple snapshots, covers nearly the width of the full Moon, and chronicles the universe's evolutionary history in one sweeping view.

Researchers estimate the image includes 265,000 galaxies, some of which appear as they existed 13.3 billion years ago.

The Hubble Wide View photograph yields a huge catalogue of distant galaxies.

In the case of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, the image captured 10,000 galaxies.

Like watching individual frames of a motion picture, the Hubble deep surveys reveal the emergence of structure in the infant Universe and the subsequent dynamic stages of galaxy evolution. Unlike previous Hubble cameras, the telescope's WFC3 covers a broader wavelength range, from ultraviolet to near-infrared.

The Hubble is a space-based and long-term observatory.

Below, you can explore the full-size Hubble image. "This study aimed to help astronomers better understand the relationship between the black holes that lurk at the cores of galaxies like these, and the rugby-ball-shaped bulge of stars, gas and dust at the galaxy's center", ESA said.

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