Over 5,500 galaxies, including one created just 450-million years after the universe's creation 13.7-billion years ago. (Photo : HubbleSite.org)
Scientists have assembled a series of photos together from the Hubble Space Telescope in order to create what is the deepest view into space ever. The image shows light from galaxies that are so old, they existed just a mere 450 million years after the universe's creation 13.7-billion-years ago.
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The photo has been dubbed eXtreme Deep Field, or XDF, and even though it is a tiny portion of the angular diameter of the moon (the constellation Fornax) one can still see around 5,500 galaxies.
Over 10 years of Hubble photographs were used in order to create XDF, including those from Hubble's new infrared camera, which allows it to peer deep into space to detect red light.
"The XDF is the deepest image of the sky ever obtained and reveals the faintest and most distant galaxies ever seen. XDF allows us to explore further back in time than ever before," said Garth Illingworth from University of California at Santa Cruz and lead scientist of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field 2009 program.
Before the Hubble Telescope, scientists could not really see beyond 7-billion light-years. Now, the XDF, comprised of Hubble photographs, peers back 13.2-billion years into our universe's past, allowing astronomers to gain a better understanding of the early universe and galaxies were formed.
The images also help scientists better prepare for the Hubble's successor, the James Webb Space Telescope.
A web seminar on September 27, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. titled "Meet the Hubble eXtreme Deep Field Observing Team" will allow the public to listen to three astronomers talk about assembling the landmark image.