26 September 2012
Posted in Our Planet, Our Universe
Imagine traveling into space 13 billion light-years away. What would you see? What great discoveries would you uncover? Just recently the Hubble Space Telescope captured the farthest view ever into the universe’s past, revealing thousands of unexplored galaxies billions of light-years away.
Over the last 10 years the Hubble Space Telescope has taken more than 2,000 images shot by several cameras leading up to one remarkable composite. The final image shows over 5,500 galaxies in just a tiny view. Wow! That’s a lot!
Coining the name eXtreme Deep Field (XDF), the stellar photograph transports astronomers back in time 13.2 billion years. According to a researcher at the University Of Santa Cruz, this new snapshot will allow astronomers to uncover information further back in time than ever before.
With an exposure time of two million seconds, XDF reveals a wide range of galaxies from Milky Way-lookalikes to tiny galaxies that may have once been the seed to the larger galaxies we have today. The picture also contains elliptical galaxies along with a nearby Andromeda. According to this new discovery, astronomers now believe the universe is 13.7 billion years old!
Before the Hubble Space Telescope was launched ten years ago, astronomers could only view galaxies 7 billion light-years away.
Astronomers now want to research even further back into time. The Hubble’s more powerful predecessor, the James Webb Space Telescope, is expected to push the boundaries back even further. The new telescope, expected to launch in 2018, should reveal the mystery of galaxy formations.