Hubble Ultra Deep Field

Hubble Ultra Deep Field

It's hard to believe that the Hubble Space Telescope has been zipping around the globe for nearly 3 decades. That's over 160.000 orbits! And during this time Hubble has made the most amazing and beautiful photos of the universe. But from a scientific viewpoint the most important research have been the Hubble Deep Fields, which includes the Hubble Ultra Deep Field. Here are 5 amazing facts about the Hubble Ultra Deep Field:

11.3 days exposure time

By observing a very dark patch of the sky with little light by stars in our milky way and nearby galaxies it was possible to take the equivalent of a long exposure photograph resulting in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field image. In total it took 800 exposures on 400 Hubble orbits during  September 24, 2003, through to January 16, 2004 with a combined exposure of 11.3 days to compose HUDF.

Captured about 10.000 galaxies

The Hubble Ultra Deep Field image shows an estimated 10.000 galaxies. And if that isn't incredible enough, Hubble only looked at a small part of the sky. Roughly one twinty-six-millionth of the sky. To put that into perspective that is an area smaller than a 1 sq. mm piece of paper held at 1 meter away.

Most distant galaxies are 13 billion light years away

Because of Hubble Ultra Deep Field long exposure time it was able to capture an image of the furthest away and faintest galaxies. About 100 of the galaxies are 13 billion light years away. The nearest galaxies, which are the larger, brighter and better defined galaxies in HUDF are about a billion years away.


Zoomed in look at closest galaxies of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field


A look into the past when the universe only 5.8% of its current age

The universe is about 13.8 billion years old. And with the furthest galaxies in HUDF being over 13 billions light years away this gives us a look into the past of about 800 million years after the Big Bang. 

Increased the current estimate of existing galaxies to 100 billion

The Hubble Deep Fields showed us that there were way more galaxies than previously thought. It was actually one of the main objectives of Hubble to measure the size and age of the universe. With this small patch of the sky of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field containing about 10.000 galaxies and further observations done by Hubble it is now estimated that the universe contains about 100 billion galaxies. Wild...

Continued reading:

Hubble Deep Fields [ESA]
Hubble Space Telescope [NASA]

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