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News Release 52 of 64

January 7, 1998 12:00 AM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-1998-06

Hubble Finds Most of Visible Light in the Universe

An American Astronomical Society Meeting Release

January 7, 1998: A closer look at the Hubble telescope's most detailed image, the Hubble Deep Field, reveals that the faint galaxies seen by Hubble could account for most of the visible light in the cosmos.

The Hubble Deep Field, an image obtained in 1995 when Hubble observed one location on the sky for two weeks, revealed galaxies that are billions of times fainter than could be seen with the naked eye. Astronomers probed apparently blank patches that lie between the faint galaxies, searching for tiny ripples in the sky brightness that would indicate the presence of even more galaxies. They found very little variation in brightness, indicating that most of the visible light filling the universe comes from galaxies like those in the Hubble Deep Field and not from still fainter galaxies.

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Credit: STScI and NASA