The 24-year-old Nasa Hubble Space Telescope captured one of the most colorful images of our expanding universe. The image is created by combining the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF) in a visible and near-infrared light images taken from 2003 to 2009 and a new study called Ultraviolet Coverage of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field from 2003 to 2012. The result is a stunning image, “made from 841 orbits of telescope viewing time,” that, “contains approximately 10,000 galaxies,” dating back to the big bang.
Researchers have been able to utilize the Hubble’s near-infrared capability to study most distant galaxies and the birth of stars. The ultraviolet light of images provides the missing link in star formation and provides researchers a better view of the universe by gathering data of stars extending from about 5 to 10 billion light-years away.
In a way it’s like looking at two different photos, one in 6-megapixals and another in 12-megapixals. The Ultraviolet Coverage combined with the near-infrared clears up a range of information needed to understand and observe the universe as a whole.
“The lack of information from ultraviolet light made studying galaxies in the HUDF like trying to understand the history of families without knowing about the grade-school children,” said principal investigator Harry Teplitz of Caltech in Pasadena, California. “The addition of the ultraviolet fills in this missing range.”
The photos could only be possible by a space-based telescope, because of Earth’s atmosphere that filters most ultraviolet light. The photo technique is a giant leap for everyone involved in Ultraviolet surveys.
Team member Dr. Rogier Windhorst of Arizona State University in Tempe said, “Hubble provides an invaluable ultraviolet light dataset that researchers will need to combine with infrared data from Webb. This is the first really deep ultraviolet image to show the power of that combination.”
Astronomers have been studying galaxies and hope to get a direct look at which galaxies are forming stars and the stars forming inside those galaxies.
The Hubble Space Telescope is an international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency.