See 265000 galaxies in the epic Hubble Legacy Field mosaic

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Numerous galaxies represented in the mosaic expand to some 500 million years after the Big Bang when Universe was in its infancy and planets were just commencing to form. But it paid off, and now the Hubble Legacy Field image exists as a testament to over a decade of work.

The wavelengths shown in the image range from ultraviolet to near-infrared, which allows astronomers to visualize the many different features of the galaxy through time.

Astronomers on Thursday posted an incredible image using 16 years' worth of Hubble Space Telescope data. This mosaic is 14 times the area of the Hubble Ultraviolet Ultra Deep Field released in 2014.

Feeling small yet? Or simply full of wonder?

The findings from 31 different Hubble programs came together in order to assemble this image.

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Astronomers have assembled a mosaic of almost 7,500 images of one part of the sky, creating the largest and most comprehensive history book of the universe. The team is working on a second set of images, totaling more than 5,200 Hubble exposures. By studying them, astronomers can learn about how elements were created, how the conditions for life began on Earth and how physics works in the universe.

The Hubble Space Telescope was launched jointly by NASA and the European Space Agency. The Hubble Legacy Field is one of the widest views ever taken of the universe with Hubble. The first time Hubble stared into the abyss was in 1995, when the then-director of the Space Telescope Science Institute chose to dedicate his discretionary time to peering into an apparently empty patch of space.

It puts together 16 years of data captured from the Hubble Space Telescope, according to a statement from NASA.

The deep-sky mosaic provides a wide portrait of the distant universe, containing 200,000 galaxies that stretch back through 13.3 billion years of time to just 500 million years after the Big Bang. The Hubble eXtreme Deep Field image contains several of the most distant objects ever identified.

But once the superpowerful James Webb Space Telescope launches and enormous new ground observations open, our view of this patch of the night sky - and knowledge about the farthest reaches of space and time - will only improve. "This will really set the stage for NASA's planned Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)", Illingworth said. Hubble's surveys of disc galaxies aim to explore the relationship between these black holes and their local galaxies. Thus, bringing Legacy Field as the greatest image of the universe until future space telescopes are built. Observations with ground-based telescopes were not able to establish how galaxies formed and evolved in the early Universe.

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