Science 2 min read

Astronomers Release the Most Detailed Photo of the Universe to Date

A portion of the the Hubble Legacy field, the most detailed photo of the universe to date | NASA

A portion of the the Hubble Legacy field, the most detailed photo of the universe to date | NASA

An international team of astronomers just released the most detailed photo of the universe to date. The new image is a panorama of cosmic history comprised of both old and newborn galaxies, as well as other alien worlds and bizarre celestial bodies once beyond the grasp of our human imagination.

The image, called the Hubble Legacy Field, represents the most comprehensive view of our cosmos ever. It was created using over 7,500 observations taken by the Hubble Space Telescope for more than 16 years.

The final panoramic view now has around 265,000 galaxies, many of which are so distant that it took billions of years for their light to reach Hubble’s lenses. Garth Illingworth, an astronomer from the University of California, Santa Cruz, said in a statement:

“This one image contains the full history of the growth of galaxies in the universe, from their time as ‘infants’ to when they grew into fully-fledged ‘adults.”

The Photo of the Universe

Illingworth, together with astronomers from NASA, ESA, and other distinguished universities in the U.S. and Europe, began the project to create the most detailed photo of the universe in 1995. The large mosaic they created reportedly covers over 13 billion years of our universe’s history.

Some of the galaxies included in the panoramic view date back to just 500 million years after the Big Bang. Therefore, the image can be used to better understand the ancient universe and how cosmic expansion works. Katherine Whitaker, the catalog lead researcher from the University of Connecticut, said:

“Such exquisite high-resolution measurements of the numerous galaxies in this catalog enable a wide swath of extragalactic study. Often, these kinds of surveys have yielded unanticipated discoveries which have had the greatest impact on our understanding of galaxy evolution.”

The Hubble Legacy Field contains 30 times more galaxies than the previously released deep-field view of the universe, spanning almost the width of the entire moon. The panorama includes images ranging from ultraviolet to near-infrared light, providing more comprehensive features of galaxies as they assemble over time.

Rychard Bouwens, a Hubble Legacy Field team member, was quoted as saying:

“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.”

Read More: Hubble Space Telescope Images Uncover Existence Of New Neptune Moon

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