The Most Important Image in Astronomy: Hubble Deep Field Image
If you ever thought about what is one of the most exciting and important images in astronomy then check out Hubble’s ultra deep field image. You are looking at a region of space of 1mm by 1mm and that is 13 billion light years away! The universe is about 13.77 billion years old so that should give you some perspective in how far back we are looking. As you can see in the image there are a plethora of galaxies. Actually there are something like 10,000+ galaxies in the ultra deep field. Hubble started collecting data for the ultra deep field image in September of 2003 and completed in January of 2004. It took 400 orbits and 1 million seconds of exposure time! The furthest galaxy ever discovered is a galaxy that was born 380 million years after the Big Bang. Here is an image of all the oldest galaxies found with the respecting redshifts:
The oldest galaxy in Hubble ultra deep field image is the one with z= 11.9 which is 380 million years after the Big Bang. When looking at the background cosmic radiation or the left over radiation from the birth of the universe it has a redshift of z= 1089 or 389,000 years after the Big Bang! Hubble is an extraordinary piece of equipment that will go down as one of mankind’s most important instrument. However with technology getting better and with the James Space Webb Telescope on it’s way in the coming years we will be able to see even further back into history and understand our beautiful universe.
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