This video begins with a zoom into the small area of sky that the Hubble Space Telescope observed to construct the eXtreme Deep Field, or XDF. The region is located in the southern sky, far away from the glare of the Milky Way, the bright plane of our galaxy. In terms of angular size, the field is a fraction the angular diameter of the full Moon, yet it contains thousands of galaxies stretching back across time.
The video then depicts a flight through the galaxies in the XDF. Using measured and estimated redshifts for approximately three thousand galaxies, astronomers and visualizers constructed a three-dimensional model of the XDF galaxy distribution. The camera starts from Hubble's viewpoint, traverses more than thirteen billion light-years of space, and exits the data set past a "red dot" galaxy (or proto-galaxy) with a redshift of 7.82. For cinematic reasons, the exceedingly vast distances in the 3D model have been greatly compressed.
Publication: September 25, 2012