Last week, NASA scientists obtained a great achievement. Using data gathered in 16 years by the Hubble Space Telescope, they managed to stitch together a mosaic picture of the distant universe, containing 265,000 galaxies. The image was declared the most complex galactical history book of some of the oldest formations of the universe.
The Hubble Space Telescope is hanging out in low Earth orbit, gathering data on the universe. Hubble was built by NASA in collaboration with the European Space Agency. It was launched in 1990 and, ever since then, has been a vital research tool for astronomy. The telescope is expected to last until 2030-2040. Its successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, will be launched into orbit in 2021.
About 16 Years Worth Of Hubble Space Telescope Data In One Picture
Observing the stunning image more in-depth, we can observe the developmental stages of galaxies, from infancy to adulthood. Experts believe the revolutionary image’s impact will not be surpassed by any other telescope picture captured in the future, at least not until more performant space telescopes are developed.
Researchers expect this success to lead to an even more complex understanding of the universe’s evolution in the future.
The image came to life through the work of 31 different teams of astronomers in Hubble programs all around the world. They all shared a common goal, which was to arrange the entirety of the data gathered in 16 years of exposures into one grand legacy image.
Attempts to reach this goal have been made in the past, but astronomers were not able to assemble the exposures in a consistent way. The mosaic image is just the beginning of a project called the Hubble Legacy Field. The team is working on another set of data, consisting of over 5,000 Hubble exposures, this time focused on another area of the sky.