Wednesday, March 10, 2004
Ultra Deep Field
The Hubble Space Telescope, in a spiteful attempt to make NASA look silly for canceling future servicing missions, continues to crank out wonderful new results.
This is a detail from the new Ultra Deep Field. They point the telescope at one small region of the sky and just let it sit there, gradually collecting the tiny number of photons that are coming to us from these galaxies in the early universe. The objects seen here formed approximately 500 million years after the Big Bang; in a 14 billion year old universe, that's pretty young. Besides being a pretty picture, images like this help astrophysicists to figure out the processes by which galaxies became assembled out of the nearly-uniform plasma of the earliest times.