Extremely Deep Space

There’s been a lot of media coverage of this image, taken using the Hubble Space Telescope using an exposure time of 2 million seconds (aproximately 23 days), including a nice feature article on the BBC Website to which I refer you for more explanation, so I’ll keep this post brief. Suffice to say that the Hubble eXtreme Deep Field (XDF) is the deepest image of the sky ever obtained and it reveals the faintest and most distant galaxies ever seen, showing some galaxies as they were over 13 billion years ago. It’s also very very pretty…

And if the overwhelming scale of the Universe revealed by this picture makes you feel worthless and insignificant, just remember that things could have been much worse. You might have been Nick Clegg.

3 Responses to “Extremely Deep Space”

  1. I’m not sure how big this is, but the original HDF is about the same angular size as a rice grain held at arm’s length. Think of all the galaxies in this area of the sky, then extrapolate to the whole sky. That’s the observable universe. Of course, other areas will have more foreground objects.

    Forget gravity for a minute and compress this to the density of something we understand well, namely nuclear matter. How big is the ball?

    • Garret Cotter Says:

      Matter content of the observable universe is ~1E53 kg so at nuclear densities it would be a ball of radius a few A.U., I reckon.
      Yeah, space is pretty empty.

  2. It would be very interesting to try to do some science with that data set. Good luck to everyone in a position to do.

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