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Hubble mosaic merges 7,500 observations into stunning legacy ‘deep field’

5 May 2019, 15:48 UTC
Hubble mosaic merges 7,500 observations into stunning legacy ‘deep field’
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In 1995, astronomers aimed the Hubble Space Telescope at a presumably empty patch in the northern sky and effectively opened the shutter for what amounted to a million-second exposure. The result was the first now-famous Hubble Deep Field, an mind boggling image showing some 3,000 galaxies, a cosmic core sample extending back to nearly the dawn of the universe. In the years since then, Hubble scientists have produced additional, more detailed deep field images using upgraded instruments.
Now, they have released a new jaw dropper that combines 7,500 Hubble exposures collected over 16 years. The Hubble Legacy Field, covering an area about the size of the full Moon, includes about 30 times as many galaxies as imaged in the earlier Hubble Ultra Deep Field, or roughly 265,000 galaxies stretching back in time and space to within about 500 million years of the Big Bang.
The Hubble Legacy Field combines nearly 7,500 deep exposures collected for previous “deep field” observations, containing some 265,000 galaxies in an area roughly the size of the full Moon. The full-resolution image weighs in at nearly a gigabyte. Image: NASA, ESA, G. Illingworth and D. Magee (University of California, Santa Cruz), K. Whitaker (University of Connecticut), ...

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