Astronomers Assemble View of Evolving Universe

Hubble creates stunning mosaic containing roughly 265,000 galaxies

The image contains 265,000 galaxies that stretch back through 13.3 billion years of the universe's history, to just 500 million years after the big bang.

Astronomers on Thursday posted an incredible image using 16 years' worth of Hubble Space Telescope data.

The farthest galaxies shown by the zoomed in images are 1 in 10 billionth the brightness of what the human eye can see without a telescope, and were created 13.3 billion years ago. By observing galaxies, scientists traced the expansion of the universe revealing clues about the physics and chemistry of the cosmos, and discovering conditions that led to the appearance of the solar system and life on Earth.

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.

Astronomers have garnered a mosaic of nearly 7,500 images captured of faraway universe generating the most massive and complete history book of galaxies ever engendered. Ground-based observations were unable to establish how galaxies formed and evolved in the early Universe.

The powerful orbital telescope explored the NGC 2903 galaxy and the European Space Agency (ESA) released the dazzling image this week. Webb's infrared coverage will go beyond the limits of Hubble and Spitzer to help astronomers identify the first galaxies in the universe. "Previously, most of these exposures had not been put together in a consistent way that can be used by any researcher".

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Astronomers on Thursday published a remarkable new picture of the deep universe.

The subsequent Hubble Ultra Deep Field from 2004 revealed almost 10,000 galaxies in a single image.

"One exciting aspect of these new images is the large number of sensitive colour channels now available to view distant galaxies, especially in the ultraviolet part of the spectrum", team member Rychard Bouwens of Leiden University in the Netherlands, explained "With images at so many frequencies, we can dissect the light from galaxies into the contributions from old and young stars, as well as active galactic nuclei". The resulting Hubble Deep Field image in 1995 captured several thousand unseen galaxies in one pointing.

And now, astronomers have woven all those images together into one enormous tapestry, spanning time and space and wavelengths, to give a multi-dimensional view into the distant universe.

A second deep-field image, called the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, was taken in 2003-2004 after a new camera - the Advanced Camera for Surveys - was installed.

Dr Van Dokkum said astronomers hope to expand the multi-wavelength range of the images NASA's planned Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope which will allow it to explore an even wider area of space than HLF.

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