Scientists produce the widest image of the universe using 16 years data

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hubble image field of the universe
Hubble Image Field offers a view of the farthest and faintest galaxies that the Hubble Space Telescope has ever seen. (Credits - NASA, ESA, G. Illingworth and D. Magee (University of California, Santa Cruz), K. Whitaker (University of Conneticut), R. Bouwens (Leiden University), P. Oesch (University of Geneva), and the Hubble Legacy Field Team )

Using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have created the largest mosaic of the universe containing about 265,000 galaxies. This image is known as the Hubble Legacy Field, and it contains 265,000 galaxies which have been formed up to 500 million years after the Big Bang.

This is the widest view which has been taken of the universe using Hubble Space Telescope’s observations spanning 16 years. The faintest galaxies on the photograph are about one ten-billionth of the brightness which can be viewed by the human eye. This is a remarkable image as it enables us to view the entire history of the evolution of the universe and it also shows how changes occur in the galaxies over a period of time to come up as a giant galaxy.

The image has been possible due to the many deep field surveys which have been taken by Hubble which includes the eXtreme Deep Field(XDF) which is the deepest observation of the universe. The range of wavelength is from the ultraviolet light to the near-infrared light which enables to capture the main features of the changes in the galaxies as time passes.

Garth Illingworth, from the University of California, Santa Cruz, commented that as it has been possible to get a wider view in the universe than the previous surveys, many distant galaxies have been captured in the biggest ever dataset which has been produced by Hubble. A single image captures the entire history of the growth of galaxies.

Scientists feel that no image ever can compete with the image produced now, till space telescopes are launched in the future. Illingworth added that this image is meant to be a tool for studying by the astronomers and it will be an aid in the deeper understanding of the evolution of the universe.

Edwin Hubble once remarked that galaxies act as the markers of the space. They allow scientists to keep track of the expansion of the universe. This image is almost equal to the width of Full Moon. It is the culmination of the work of 31 Hubble programs which comprises several teams of astronomers.

Dan Magee, from the University of California, Santa Cruz, who is the data processing lead of the team explained that this legacy image has been made by judging the exposures spanning 16 years. It was not put in this manner previously and thus was not suitable for use by scientists. The Hubble Space Telescope is a project among several institutes such as NASA, ESA and Space Telescope Science Institute.

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