I am fascinated by the images that are put together based on the data received by the HUBBLE telescope.
You start to feel incredibly humble and quite insignificant when you realise the scale of our known universe.
Of course we are discovering more each day. Just look at he most recent composite image of deep space (i.e. extreme deep space).
Hubble Goes to the eXtreme to Assemble Farthest Ever View of the Universe
|Like photographers assembling a portfolio of best shots, astronomers have assembled a new, improved portrait of mankind’s deepest-ever view of the universe. Called the eXtreme Deep Field, or XDF, the photo was assembled by combining 10 years of NASA Hubble Space Telescope photographs taken of a patch of sky at the center of the original Hubble Ultra Deep Field. The XDF is a small fraction of the angular diameter of the full Moon. The Hubble Ultra Deep Field is an image of a small area of space in the constellation Fornax, created using Hubble Space Telescope data from 2003 and 2004. By collecting faint light over many hours of observation, it revealed thousands of galaxies, both nearby and very distant, making it the deepest image of the universe ever taken at that time. The new full-color XDF image reaches much fainter galaxies and includes very deep exposures in red light from Hubble’s new infrared camera, enabling new studies of the earliest galaxies in the universe. The XDF contains about 5,500 galaxies even within its smaller field of view. The faintest galaxies are one ten-billionth the brightness of what the human eye can see.Hubble has returned to the same target more than 50 times over the past decade, racking up an additional two million seconds of exposure time.
The most distant objects found so far date back to about 500 million years after the universe’s formation some 13.7 billion years ago.The early universe was a violent place, filled with colliding and merging galaxies that radiate in bright blue light, a telltale sign of new star formation.The Hubble portrait also shows brilliantly shining spiral galaxies and older red fuzzy galaxies whose star-formation days are over.”The XDF is the deepest image of the sky ever obtained,” said astronomer Garth Illingworth, from theUniversity of California in Santa Cruz.”It allows us to explore further back in time than ever before.”You might also want to check out the most distant galaxy ever recorded at Hubble
Just think if the countries which have spent money on exploring space -particularly “manned” space flight used the funds cooperatively on unmanned projects like Hubble- our knowledge would be so vast by now and a little bit more cooperation might benefit us all.
On Sept. 27 at 1 p.m. EST, we’ll conduct an online webinar via YouTube and Google+ Events. Listen to three key members of the XDF observing team describe how they assembled the landmark observation, and what Hubble’s powerful new view tells us about the evolving universe. Viewers can pose questions in comments on either site for our panelists to discuss.
This feature is available at: