Share

News Release Archive:

News Release 465 of 961

March 9, 2004 09:30 AM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-2004-07

Hubble's Deepest View Ever of the Universe Unveils Earliest Galaxies

Back

Image: A Sampling of Galaxies From the Hubble Ultra Deep Field Image

A Sampling of Galaxies From the Hubble Ultra Deep Field ImageSTScI-PRC2004-07c

Screen-use options: These files are created for viewing on your monitor

Print-use download options: These files are designed to fit on letter-size paper


ABOUT THIS IMAGE:

A galactic brawl. A close encounter with a spiral galaxy. Blue wisps of galaxies. These close-up snapshots of galaxies in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field reveal the drama of galactic life.

Almost every panel shows oddball-shaped galaxies engaged in boxing matches with galactic neighbors. In the panel at top, left, three galaxies just below center are enmeshed in battle, their shapes distorted by the brutal encounter. The panel at top, center, reveals an edge-on spiral galaxy fending off a weirdly shaped blue galaxy. The panel at bottom, right, is littered with close encounters between galaxies that have been shredded by the interactions. These oddball galaxies chronicle a period when the universe was younger and more chaotic. Order and structure were just beginning to emerge.

Not all the galaxies are engaged in galactic mayhem. In the panel at top, right, is a majestic spiral galaxy, one of the nearest galaxies in the Ultra Deep Field. This galaxy existed about 1 billion years ago, when the cosmos was 13 billion years old. The smallest, reddest galaxies [the red dots in the panels at top, left and bottom, left] may be among the most distant known, existing when the cosmos was 800 million years old.

The galaxies in these panels were plucked from a harvest of nearly 10,000 galaxies in the Ultra Deep Field, the deepest visible-light image of the cosmos.

The Ultra Deep Field observations, taken by the Advanced Camera for Surveys, represent a narrow, "deep" view of the cosmos. Peering into the Ultra Deep Field is like looking through an eight-foot-long soda straw.

In ground-based images, the patch of sky in which the galaxies reside (just one-tenth the diameter of the full Moon) is largely empty. Located in the constellation Fornax, the region is so empty, in fact, that only a handful of stars within the Milky Way galaxy can be seen in the image.

In this image, blue and green correspond to colors that can be seen by the human eye, such as hot, young, blue stars and the glow of Sun-like stars in the disks of galaxies. Red represents near-infrared light, which is invisible to the human eye, such as the red glow of dust-enshrouded galaxies.

The image required 800 exposures taken over the course of 400 Hubble orbits around Earth. The total amount of exposure time was 11.3 days, taken between Sept. 24, 2003 and Jan. 16, 2004.

Object Names: Hubble Ultra Deep Field, HUDF

Image Type: Astronomical

Credit: NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI) and the HUDF Team

NEWS RELEASE IMAGES

The above montage includes these images:

Galaxies on a Collision Course in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field Image Image Type: Astronomical Galaxies on a Collision Course in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field Image Edge-On Spiral Galaxy Collides With Small Blue Galaxy in Hubble Ultra Deep Field Image Image Type: Astronomical Edge-On Spiral Galaxy Collides With Small Blue Galaxy in Hubble Ultra Deep Field Image Spiral Galaxy in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field Image Type: Astronomical Spiral Galaxy in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field Collection of Galaxies From the Hubble Ultra Deep Field Image Image Type: Astronomical Collection of Galaxies From the Hubble Ultra Deep Field Image Close-Up of Galaxies from the Hubble Ultra Deep Field Image Image Type: Astronomical Close-Up of Galaxies from the Hubble Ultra Deep Field Image Sample of Distant Galaxies in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field Image Type: Astronomical Sample of Distant Galaxies in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field

All images from this news release:

To access available information and downloadable versions of images in this news release, click on any of the images below: