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News Release Archive:

News Release 44 of 67

September 23, 2004 09:00 AM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2004-28

Hubble Approaches the Final Frontier: The Dawn of Galaxies

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Image: Farthest Objects Ever Seen Pinpointed in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field

Farthest Objects Ever Seen Pinpointed in the Hubble Ultra Deep FieldSTScI-PRC2004-28

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Detailed analyses of mankind's deepest optical view of the universe, the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF), by several expert teams have at last identified what may turn out to be some of the earliest star-forming galaxies. The sensitivity of Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), combined with the penetrating power of the Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS), finally revealed these long-sought faint galaxies. The HUDF shows that close to a billion years after the big bang the early universe was filled with dwarf galaxies, but no fully formed galaxies like our Milky Way. After careful analysis, they have been sorted out as between 54 and 108 dim, red smudges sprinkled across the HUDF image. This image shows the full sample of candidates circled in green. Three enlargements at right show several dwarf objects that are at the limits of Hubble's present instrument capabilities. The HUDF is a small region of sky in the direction of the southern constellation Fornax. The faintest objects are less than one four-billionth the brightness of stars that can be seen with the naked eye. Their light has taken nearly 13 billion years to reach Earth, and so these objects represent some of the earliest star-forming galaxies to form in the universe.

Object Names: HUDF, Hubble Ultra Deep Field

Image Type: Astronomical/Illustration

Credit: NASA, ESA, R. Windhorst (Arizona State University) and H. Yan (Spitzer Science Center, Caltech)

NEWS RELEASE IMAGES

The above montage includes these images:

Most Distant Galaxy Candidates in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field Image Type: Astronomical Most Distant Galaxy Candidates in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field Hubble Ultra Deep Field Most-Distant Galaxy Candidates — Close-up 1 Image Type: Astronomical Hubble Ultra Deep Field Most-Distant Galaxy Candidates — Close-up 1 Hubble Ultra Deep Field Most-Distant Galaxy Candidates — Close-up 2 Image Type: Astronomical Hubble Ultra Deep Field Most-Distant Galaxy Candidates — Close-up 2 Hubble Ultra Deep Field Most-Distant Galaxy Candidates — Close-up 3 Image Type: Astronomical Hubble Ultra Deep Field Most-Distant Galaxy Candidates — Close-up 3

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