Hubble's Universe Unfiltered

  • August 2, 2014

    How deep can the Hubble Deep Field peer into the past?

    by Frank Summers

    Q: How deep can the Hubble deep field peer into the past?

    A: The most distant objects Hubble has seen are just over 13 billion light-years away. Because light takes one year to travel one light-year of distance, the light left these most distant objects over 13 billion years ago. We see them not as they are today, but as they were 13 billion years in the past. Astronomers have measured and calculated that the Big Bang occurred about 13.7 billion years ago, so we are seeing these objects about 500-700 million years after the beginning of the universe. If the universe were a 70-year-old woman, it would be like looking back to pictures of her when she was only 3 years old.