DEEPEST VIEW EVER OF THE
UNIVERSE BY MANKIND...
AND STILL HUMANS ONLY KNOW SO LITTLE OF
CREATOR bRH`m's CREATION OF
MARCH 9, 2004:
Astronomers at the Space Telescope Science Institute today unveiled the
deepest portrait of the visible universe ever achieved by humankind. Called
the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF), the million-second-long exposure reveals
the first galaxies to emerge from the so-called "dark ages," the time shortly
after the big bang when the first stars reheated the cold, dark universe. The
new image should offer new insights into what types of objects reheated the
universe long ago.
The light left those galaxies more than 13 billion years ago when the
universe was less than five percent of its current age. This light gives the
image of the universe similar to watching the growth of an infant in the
critical period between two months and four months age. This imaged of the
galaxies were created by Hubble by watching the same spot in the constellation
Fornax for a total of one million seconds ( 277.8 hours) over several months.
This historic new view is actually two separate images taken by Hubble's
Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) and the Near Infrared Camera and
Multi-object Spectrometer (NICMOS). Both images reveal galaxies that are too
faint to be seen by ground-based telescopes, or even in Hubble's previous
faraway looks, called the Hubble Deep Fields (HDFs), taken in 1995 and 1998.
To view the amazing photos of the galaxies born about 13.7 billion years ago
to lit up the cosmic darkness soon after the big bang...and to read more about
this amazing research into deep space called
bhuvrlok in veD = SCIENCES OF
CREATION AND LIFE, please click on this
HUBBLE SITE .....or you can read a the
press release by clicking on the next line and then visiting the
Hubble's Deepest View Ever of the Universe
Unveils Earliest Galaxies
Full press release text:
Astronomers at the Space Telescope Science Institute today
unveiled the deepest portrait of the visible universe ever achieved by
humankind. Called the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF), the million-second-long
exposure reveals the first galaxies to emerge from the so-called "dark ages,"
the time shortly after the big bang when the first stars reheated the cold, dark
universe. The new image should offer new insights into what types of objects
reheated the universe long ago.
This historic new view is actually two separate images taken by Hubble's
Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) and the Near Infrared Camera and Multi-object
Spectrometer (NICMOS). Both images reveal galaxies that are too faint to be seen
by ground-based telescopes, or even in Hubble's previous faraway looks, called
the Hubble Deep Fields (HDFs), taken in 1995 and 1998.
"Hubble takes us to within a stone's throw of the big bang itself," says Massimo
Stiavelli of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md., and the
HUDF project lead. The combination of ACS and NICMOS images will be used to
search for galaxies that existed between 400 and 800 million years
(corresponding to a redshift range of 7 to 12) after the big bang. A key
question for HUDF astronomers is whether the universe appears to be the same at
this very early time as it did when the cosmos was between 1 and 2 billion years
The HUDF field contains an estimated 10,000 galaxies. 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 below the constellation Orion.
The final ACS image, assembled by Anton Koekemoer of the Space Telescope Science
Institute, is studded with a wide range of galaxies of various sizes, shapes,
and colors. In vibrant contrast to the image's rich harvest of classic spiral
and elliptical galaxies, there is a zoo of oddball galaxies littering the field.
Some look like toothpicks; others like links on a bracelet. A few appear to be
interacting. Their strange shapes are a far cry from the majestic spiral and
elliptical galaxies we see today. These oddball galaxies chronicle a period when
the universe was more chaotic. Order and structure were just beginning to
Installed in 2002 during the last servicing mission to the Hubble telescope, the
ACS has twice the field of view and a higher sensitivity than the older
workhorse camera, the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2, installed during the 1993
servicing mission. "The large discovery efficiency of the ACS is now being
exploited in sky surveys such as the HUDF," Stiavelli says.
The NICMOS sees even farther than the ACS. The NICMOS reveals the farthest
galaxies ever seen, because the expanding universe has stretched their light
into the near-infrared portion of the spectrum. "The NICMOS provides important
additional scientific content to cosmological studies in the HUDF," says Rodger
Thompson of the University of Arizona and the NICMOS Principal Investigator. The
ACS uncovered galaxies that existed 800 million years after the big bang (at a
redshift of 7). But the NICMOS may have spotted galaxies that lived just 400
million years after the birth of the cosmos (at a redshift of 12). Thompson must
confirm the NICMOS discovery with follow-up research.
"The images will also help us prepare for the next step from NICMOS on the
Hubble telescope to the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)," Thompson explains.
"The NICMOS images reach back to the distance and time that JWST is destined to
explore at much greater sensitivity." In addition to distant galaxies, the
longer infrared wavelengths are sensitive to galaxies that are intrinsically
red, such as elliptical galaxies and galaxies that have red colors due to a high
degree of dust absorption.
The entire HUDF also was observed with the advanced camera's "grism"
spectrograph, a hybrid prism and diffraction grating. "The grism spectra have
already yielded the identification of about a thousand objects. Included among
them are some of the intensely faint and red points of light in the ACS image,
prime candidates for distant galaxies," says Sangeeta Malhotra of the Space
Telescope Science Institute and the Principal Investigator for the Ultra Deep
Field's ACS grism follow-up study. "Based on those identifications, some of
these objects are among the farthest and youngest galaxies ever seen. The grism
spectra also distinguish among other types of very red objects, such as old and
dusty red galaxies, quasars, and cool dwarf stars."
Galaxies evolved so quickly in the universe that their most important changes
happened within a billion years of the big bang. "Where the HDFs showed galaxies
when they were youngsters, the HUDF reveals them as toddlers, enmeshed in a
period of rapid developmental changes," Stiavelli says.
Hubble's ACS allows astronomers to see galaxies two to four times fainter than
Hubble could view previously, and is also very sensitive to the near-infrared
radiation that allows astronomers to pluck out some of the farthest observable
galaxies in the universe. This will hold the record as the deepest-ever view of
the universe until ESA, together with NASA, launches the James Webb Space
Telescope in 2011.
Though ground-based telescopes have, to date, spied objects that existed just
500 million years after the big bang (at a redshift of 10), they need the help
of a rare natural zoom lens in space, called a gravitational lens, to see them.
However, the ACS can reveal typical galaxies at these great distances. Even much
larger ground-based telescopes with adaptive optics cannot reproduce such a
view. The ACS picture required a series of exposures taken over the course of
400 Hubble orbits around Earth. This is such a big chunk of the telescope's
annual observing time that Institute Director Steven Beckwith used his own
Director's Discretionary Time to provide the needed resources.
The HUDF observations began Sept. 24, 2003 and continued through Jan. 16, 2004.
The telescope's ACS camera, the size of a phone booth, captured ancient photons
of light that began traversing the universe even before Earth existed. Photons
of light from the very faintest objects arrived at a trickle of one photon per
minute, compared with millions of photons per minute from nearer galaxies.
Just like the previous HDFs, the new data are expected to galvanize the
astronomical community and lead to dozens of research papers that will offer new
insights into the birth and evolution of galaxies.
Release Date: 9:30AM (EST) March 9, 2004
Release Number: STScI-2004-07
The tale of the technology behind the pictures.
Find it all at HubbleSite