NASA fits 265,000 galaxies into a single ‘Hubble Legacy Field’ image


'The Hubble Space Telescope has made some of the most dramatic discoveries in the history of astronomy, ' a statement on the Telescope says. In this image is the combined observations of the past 16 years of gazing toward space.

You can access the image at a higher resolution by visiting the ESA Hubble site and truly grasp on just how many galaxies are actually present in it.

As the telescope looks farther into space in terms of distance, it also means they are look farther back in time, towards the beginning of the universe.

'No image will surpass this one until future space telescopes are launched'. "Previously, most of these exposures had not been put together in a consistent way that can be used by any researcher".

The Hubble Telescope remains one of mankind's most powerful tools for exploring the universe, even 29 years into its mission.

The Hubble Legacy Field image yields a huge catalog of distant galaxies. Spiral galaxies' arms are full of stars (and solar systems) as well as cosmic dust and gas bursts.

Studying the oldest galaxies allows astronomers to follow the expansion of the universe as well as the underlying chemical and physical changes that led to life on Earth.

This graphic compares the dimensions of the Hubble Legacy Field on the sky with the angular size of the Moon. It's the deepest view we've had of the universe yet!

The new mosaic is one of the widest views ever taken of the universe, stretching nearly the width of the full moon in Earth's sky.

The spiral galaxy is the most iconic resident of the universe. The new portrait, a mosaic of multiple snapshots, covers nearly the width of the full Moon. By comparison, the XDF survey, which focuses on the same region of the sky, covers an area of space less than one-tenth of the moon's diameter. The Legacy Field also uncovers a zoo of unusual objects. Observations with ground-based telescopes were not able to establish how galaxies formed and evolved in the early Universe.

The findings from 31 different Hubble programs came together in order to assemble this image.

"Now that we have gone wider than in previous surveys, we are harvesting many more distant galaxies in the largest such dataset ever produced", said Garth Illingworth, leader of the team that assembled the image at the University of California-Santa Cruz. MAST is a project of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. During this time, NASA's eye in the sky has continually astounded astronomers with incredible images of the cosmos. With a total of over two million seconds of exposure time, it is the deepest image of the Universe ever made, combining data from previous images including the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (taken in 2002 and 2003) and Hubble Ultra Deep Field Infrared (2009).

This image, called the Hubble eXtreme Deep Field (XDF), combines Hubble observations taken over the past decade of a small patch of sky in the constellation of Fornax.

The Hubble observes ultraviolet wavelengths, which the atmosphere filters out, and it collects visible light.

This new image mosaic is the first in a series of Hubble Legacy Field images.

The mosaic is a collective of almost 7,500 individual images, from 31 teams working with Hubble for a total of 250 days.

In the image is a range of different sorts of observations - different light interpreted in many different ways.

The vast number of galaxies in the Legacy Field image are also prime targets for future telescopes. Those instruments will include NASA's Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope and James Webb Space Telescope. "The Legacy Field is a pathfinder for WFIRST, which will capture an image that is 100 times larger than a typical Hubble photo". This way, it is able to capture more light, revealing what was once hidden.

The upcoming NASA/ESA James Webb Space Telescope will allow astronomers to push much deeper into the legacy field to reveal how the infant galaxies developed over time.