This spectacular image assembled using data from the Hubble Space Telescope, showcases 15,000 galaxies, 12,000 of which are star-forming.
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has wowed us time and again with dazzling imagery of the cosmos around us. This time, astronomers have used Hubble data to piece together a jaw-dropping portrait of the evolving universe.
Unveiled by NASA on August 16, this dazzling snapshot encompasses around 15,000 galaxies “widely distributed in time and space” and has been described as “the most comprehensive portraits yet of the universe’s evolutionary history.”
The mesmerizing photo is part of the Hubble Deep UV (HDUV) Legacy Survey, revealing a portion of the GOODS-North field located in the northern constellation Ursa Major, and really give us pause, making us ponder the vastness of the universe.
According to the space agency, the newly released image is “one of the largest panoramic views of the fire and fury of star birth in the distant universe.” This is because 80 percent of the galaxies captured in the Hubble image, or around 12,000, are bustling with star-forming activity.
This spectacular image has been put together from infrared and visible-light data captured by Hubble, as well as other telescopes — both in space and ground-based — to which astronomers have added ultraviolet light observations made possible by Hubble’s ultraviolet telescope. The result: a breathtaking view of the distant cosmos — both in terms of space and time.
Since ultraviolet light takes a very long time to reach us, these Hubble observations allow us to see back in time, when stars that are now 11-billion-years-old were just being born, points out CNET.
“Hubble’s ultraviolet vision opens a new window on the evolving universe, tracking the birth of stars over the last 11 billion years back to the cosmos’ busiest star-forming period, which happened about 3 billion years after the Big Bang,” NASA officials wrote in the photo release.
The superb mosaic pieced together from telescope data brings to mind another similar project known as the Hubble Ultra Violet Ultra Deep Field. Released by the Hubble Site in 2014, the image was a composite of separate exposures snapped by Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys and Wide Field Camera 3 over the course of a decade.
As astonishing as the 2014 has been, the new photo captures an area 14 times larger, notes NASA.
The most distant galaxies featured in the image have been imaged in infrared light, whereas the ones nestled close by have been observed across a broad spectrum.
“By comparing images of star formation in the distant and nearby universe, astronomers glean a better understanding of how nearby galaxies grew from small clumps of hot, young stars long ago,” NASA explained.
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