NASA is calling it the most exciting image ever taken by the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and the extremely comprehensive. It has to be one of the most extraordinary.
But the image, the remarkable payoff of a new study known as the Ultraviolet Coverage (UC) of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, is more than just stunning. It can also fill some holes in our knowledge of how different stars form.
Previously accounts of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field caught wavelengths of light from near-infrared and visible as well as the far-ultraviolet (UV). But near-ultraviolet light was not uncovered nearly as well. When you enhance the UV light, you get pretty fantastic view. (This Hubble image shows more than 10,000 galaxies. Thanks to the UC (Ultraviolet Coverage) of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field mission.)
And what an incredible sight it is! The new image, a false-color assembling of shots caught throughout the passage of 841 orbits of Hubble between 2003 and 2012 years, contains almost 10,000 galaxies in an enormous variety of sizes and shapes.
Astronomer Phil Plait wrote on Slate. “The galaxies show every imaginable shape and size, astronomer. Some are distorted, preys of collisions with other galaxies, their mutual gravity dragging them into strange shapes like taffy quadrillions of kilometers through. Many are very blue, displaying energetic star formation, while others are exceptionally red, perhaps galaxies much farther away, and their light taking much longer to reach us. Most of the very red galaxies are minor dots, another sign of their great distance.”
Entitled after astronomer Edwin Hubble, the Hubble Space Telescope is a course of NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA). It was launched into the orbit in 1990 and has been wowing us ever since.