'No image will surpass this one until future space telescopes are launched'.
NASA and the ESA released their latest Hubble Image, called the Hubble Legacy View, that shows the universe as it was 13.3 billion years ago, a mere 500 million years after the Big Bang yet still full of ancient primordial galaxies.
The mosaic is a collective of almost 7,500 individual images, from 31 teams working with Hubble for a total of 250 days.
This graphic compares the dimensions of the Hubble Legacy Field on the sky with the angular size of the Moon.
This new image mosaic is the first in a series of Hubble Legacy Field images.
Dr Garth Illingworth of the University of California-Santa Cruz, leader of the NASA research team, said: "This one image contains the full history of the growth of galaxies in the universe, from their times as "infants" to when they grew into fully-fledged 'adults". Even in its 29th year of service, the Hubble Space Telescope is still going strong, remaining humanity's most impressive tool for exploring the universe.
The image functions like a history book, scientists say, because looking back in space also allows for a look back in time.
NASA's Hubble Telescope has released an image that combined 7500 images from 16 years of surveys that reflects galaxies and stars billions of light years away.
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Trying to capture the most distant galaxies is no easy feat: because they're so far, they're also extremely dim. Many of them are the remnants of galactic "train wrecks", a time in the early universe when small, young galaxies collided and merged with other galaxies.
This new mosaic contains 100 times as many galaxies as previous deep surveys, making it the most complete portrait of the universe to date.
"Such exquisite high-resolution measurements of the numerous galaxies in this catalog enable a wide swath of extragalactic study", Katherine Whitaker, catalog lead researcher and a physicist at the University of CT, said in the statement. Image credit: NASA / ESA / G. Illingworth & D. Magee, University of California, Santa Cruz / K. Whitaker, University of CT / R. Bouwens, Leiden University / P. Oesch, University of Geneva / Hubble Legacy Field Team.
The project got its start in 1995 when the telescope snapped its first and famous Hubble Deep Field image.
Scientists using a telescope "Hubble" has received the NGC 2903 - "perfect" spiral galaxy, which is located at a distance of 30 million light years from Earth in the constellation of Leo.
Researchers will continue adding to and improving the picture with new Hubble observations as long as the telescope is operational.
The 2012 Hubble eXtreme Deep Field was assembled by combining ten years of Hubble observations taken of a patch of sky within the original Hubble Ultra Deep Field. "This will really set the stage for NASA's planned Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)", Illingworth said. This way, it is able to capture more light, revealing what was once hidden.
The upcoming NASA James Webb Space Telescope will allow astronomers to push much deeper into the legacy field to reveal how the infant galaxies developed over time.