Hubble reveals galactic drama [image 3]

A galactic brawl. A close encounter with a spiral galaxy. Blue wisps of galaxies. These close-up snapshots of galaxies in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field reveal the drama of galactic life. Here a majestic spiral galaxy is seen - one of the nearest galaxies in the Ultra Deep Field. This galaxy existed about 1 billion years ago, when the cosmos was 13 billion years old. The smallest, reddest galaxies [the red dots] may be among the most distant known, existing when the cosmos was 800 million years old.

The galaxies in this panel were plucked from a harvest of nearly 10,000 galaxies in the Ultra Deep Field, the deepest visible-light image of the cosmos.

The Ultra Deep Field observations, taken by the Advanced Camera for Surveys, represent a narrow, "deep" view of the cosmos. Peering into the Ultra Deep Field is like looking through a 2.5 metre-long soda straw.

In ground-based images, the patch of sky in which the galaxies reside (just one-tenth the diameter of the full Moon) is largely empty. Located in the constellation Fornax, the region is so empty, in fact, that only a handful of stars within the Milky Way galaxy can be seen in the image.

In this image, blue and green correspond to colours that can be seen by the human eye, such as hot, young, blue stars and the glow of Sun-like stars in the disks of galaxies. Red represents near-infrared light, which is invisible to the human eye, such as the red glow of dust-enshrouded galaxies.

The image required 800 exposures taken over the course of 400 Hubble orbits around Earth. The total amount of exposure time was 11.3 days, taken between Sept. 24, 2003 and Jan. 16, 2004.


NASA, ESA, and S. Beckwith (STScI) and the HUDF Team

About the Image

Release date:9 March 2004, 15:30
Related releases:heic0406
Size:1000 x 1000 px

About the Object

Name:Hubble Ultra Deep Field, HUDF
Type:Early Universe : Galaxy : Grouping : Cluster

Image Formats

r.titleLarge JPEG
750.3 KB
r.titleScreensize JPEG
391.0 KB



Position (RA):3 32 38.96
Position (Dec):-27° 48' 52.36"
Field of view:0.50 x 0.50 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 46.5° left of vertical

Colours & filters

435 nm Hubble Space Telescope
606 nm Hubble Space Telescope
775 nm Hubble Space Telescope
850 nm Hubble Space Telescope

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