Hubble Ultra Deep Field

Time Magazine’s online site features an article celebrating the Hubble Space Telescope’s 20th year in orbit.  I have recently become transfixed with cosmology – the theories of the universe, space and time.  I want to first show you a picture from the article, along with its caption from Time Magazine’s website.

“In 1995, the telescope peered into a tiny spot in the sky for ten days, which surprisingly revealed the existence of at least 10,000 galaxies, some billions of light years away. This is the deepest visible light image ever made.”  (Click on the image above to enlarge)

Due to the fact that the light from these galaxies had to travel billions of light years to reach the earth, we are basically looking at a picture of these galaxies up to 13 billion years ago.  So we are looking back into time with this photograph. Now, as you can observe that this picture contains 10,000 galaxies, we are able to gain perspective on the size of the universe when we look at the size of our own galaxy, the Milky Way galaxy, in comparison to our solar system.

You can see at the bottom of the photograph that our sun, and therefore our solar system, is no more than a speck within our own galaxy.  We can barely reach Mars right now with current technology.  Just think about the fact that we can currently estimate that there are hundreds of billions of galaxies in the universe, as the first picture can only photograph a fraction of the universe in one direction.

I know this post is completely unrelated to the Walk About. norm, but I just find it completely mind-boggling and wanted to share.

  1. I saw the PBS special on telescopes and was amazed at the Deep Field look. We found your site during a search yesterday and really enjoyed the milky way comparison. We are still talking about it around the house here a week later.

  2. Yeah, it’s really mind blowing how much else there is in the universe.

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