Hubble astronomers assemble wide view of the evolving universe

Hubble astronomers assemble wide view of the evolving universe
This Hubble Space Telescope image represents a portion of the Hubble Legacy Field, one of the widest views of the universe ever made. The image, a combination of thousands of snapshots, represents 16 years' worth of observations. The Hubble Legacy Field includes observations taken by several Hubble deep-field surveys, including the eXtreme Deep Field (XDF), the deepest view of the universe. The wavelength range stretches from ultraviolet to near-infrared light, capturing all the features of galaxy assembly over time. This cropped image mosaic presents a wide portrait of the distant universe and contains roughly 200,000 galaxies. They stretch back through 13.3 billion years of time to just 500 million years after the universe's birth in the big bang. Credit: NASA, ESA, G. Illingworth and D. Magee (University of California, Santa Cruz), K. Whitaker (University of Connecticut), R. Bouwens (Leiden University), P. Oesch (University of Geneva) and the Hubble Legacy Field team

Astronomers have put together the largest and most comprehensive "history book" of galaxies into one single image, using 16 years' worth of observations from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

The deep-sky mosaic, created from nearly 7,500 individual exposures, provides a wide portrait of the distant universe, containing 265,000 galaxies that stretch back through 13.3 billion years of time to just 500 million years after the big bang. The faintest and farthest galaxies are just one ten-billionth the brightness of what the human eye can see. The universe's evolutionary history is also chronicled in this one sweeping view. The portrait shows how galaxies change over time, building themselves up to become the giant galaxies seen in the nearby universe.

This ambitious endeavor, called the Hubble Legacy Field, also combines observations taken by several Hubble deep- surveys, including the eXtreme Deep Field (XDF), the deepest view of the universe. The wavelength range stretches from ultraviolet to near-, capturing the key features of galaxy assembly over time.

"Now that we have gone wider than in previous surveys, we are harvesting many more distant galaxies in the largest such dataset ever produced by Hubble," said Garth Illingworth of the University of California, Santa Cruz, leader of the team that assembled the image. "This one image contains the full history of the growth of galaxies in the universe, from their time as 'infants' to when they grew into fully fledged 'adults.'"

No image will surpass this one until future space telescopes are launched. "We've put together this mosaic as a tool to be used by us and by other astronomers," Illingworth added. "The expectation is that this survey will lead to an even more coherent, in-depth and greater understanding of the universe's evolution in the coming years."

The video begins with a view of the thousands of galaxies in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field and slowly zooms out to reveal the larger Hubble Legacy Field, containing 265,000 galaxies. Credit: NASA, ESA, G. Illingworth (University of California, Santa Cruz) and G. Bacon (STScI)

The image yields a huge catalog of distant galaxies. "Such exquisite high-resolution measurements of the numerous galaxies in this catalog enable a wide swath of extragalactic study," said catalog lead researcher Katherine Whitaker of the University of Connecticut, in Storrs. "Often, these kinds of surveys have yielded unanticipated discoveries which have had the greatest impact on our understanding of galaxy evolution."

Galaxies are the "markers of space," as astronomer Edwin Hubble once described them a century ago. Galaxies allow astronomers to trace the expansion of the universe, offer clues to the underlying physics of the cosmos, show when the chemical elements originated, and enable the conditions that eventually led to the appearance of our solar system and life.

This wider view contains about 30 times as many galaxies as in the previous deep fields. The new portrait, a mosaic of multiple snapshots, covers almost the width of the full Moon. The XDF, which penetrated deeper into space than this wider view, lies in this region, but it covers less than one-tenth of the full Moon's diameter. The Legacy Field also uncovers a zoo of unusual objects. 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.

Assembling all of the observations was an immense task. The image comprises the collective work of 31 Hubble programs by different teams of astronomers. Hubble has spent more time on this tiny area than on any other region of the sky, totaling more than 250 days, representing nearly three-quarters of a year.

"Our goal was to assemble all 16 years of exposures into a legacy image," explained Dan Magee, of the University of California, Santa Cruz, the team's data processing lead. "Previously, most of these exposures had not been put together in a consistent way that can be used by any researcher. Astronomers can select the data in the Legacy Field they want and work with it immediately, as opposed to having to perform a huge amount of data reduction before conducting scientific analysis."

Hubble astronomers assemble wide view of the evolving universe
This graphic compares the dimensions of the Hubble Legacy Field on the sky with the angular size of the Moon. The Hubble Legacy Field is one of the widest views ever taken of the universe with Hubble. The new portrait, a mosaic of nearly 7,500 exposures, covers almost the width of the full Moon. The Moon and the Legacy Field each subtend about an angle of one-half a degree on the sky (or half the width of your forefinger held at arm's length). Credit: Hubble Legacy Field Image: NASA, ESA, and G. Illingworth and D. Magee (University of California, Santa Cruz); Moon Image: NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center and Arizona State University

The image, along with the individual exposures that make up the new view, is available to the worldwide astronomical community through the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST). MAST, an online database of astronomical data from Hubble and other NASA missions, is located at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland.

The Hubble Space Telescope has come a long way in taking ever deeper "core samples" of the distant universe. After Hubble's launch in 1990, astronomers debated if it was worth spending a chunk of the telescope's time to go on a "fishing expedition" to take a very long exposure of a small, seemingly blank piece of sky. The resulting Hubble Deep Field image in 1995 captured several thousand unseen galaxies in one pointing. The bold effort was a landmark demonstration and a defining proof-of-concept that set the stage for future deep field images. In 2002, Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys went even deeper to uncover 10,000 galaxies in a single snapshot. Astronomers used exposures taken by Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), installed in 2009, to assemble the eXtreme Deep Field snapshot in 2012. Unlike previous Hubble cameras, the telescope's WFC3 covers a broader wavelength range, from ultraviolet to near-infrared.

This new image mosaic is the first in a series of Hubble Legacy Field images. The team is working on a second set of images, totaling more than 5,200 Hubble exposures, in another area of the sky. In the future, astronomers hope to broaden the multiwavelength range in the legacy images to include longer-wavelength infrared data and high-energy X-ray observations from two other NASA Great Observatories, the Spitzer Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory.

The vast number of in the Legacy Field image are also prime targets for future telescopes. "This will really set the stage for NASA's planned Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)," Illingworth said. "The Legacy Field is a pathfinder for WFIRST, which will capture an image that is 100 times larger than a typical Hubble photo. In just three weeks' worth of observations by WFIRST, astronomers will be able to assemble a field that is much deeper and more than twice as large as the Hubble Legacy Field."


Explore further

Astronomer helps create 'history book' image of the universe

More information: Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST): archive.stsci.edu/

HubbleSite Legacy Field image downloads: hubblesite.org/image/4492/news

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May 16, 2019
Amazing isn't it? How the Universe has such an homogeneous appearance no matter which direction we point telescopes. Entropy at work, literally.

RNP
May 16, 2019
@Benni
Entropy at work, literally.


What nonsense. Why should you claim such a silly thing. Do you actually understand what the word entropy means? I think not.

May 16, 2019
benni, the mud pie you are patting out? May look neat & orderly when you show it to your mommy.

However, that is just a very local & temporary organization of what a mess you are sitting in that is the chaos of Reality.

Stochastic Universe...
Gravitrons, all the way down!

May 16, 2019
Another way to get a wide-angle view of the universe is to turn your binoculars backwards...

May 16, 2019
The investigation of the large scale structure of the World revealed its high inhomogeneity. During the last couple of decades a rich picture of groups, clusters and superclusters of the galaxies separated by a number of huge empty voids was released. The foam-like structure becomes more and more clear. The building blocks of the large scale structure are superclusters and voids which are forming the supercluster-void network. This network has pronounced filamentary structure. In this paper we discuss the mechanism of creation and stabilization of the Macrostructure of the World in the frame of elastonic model.
https://www.acade...he_World

May 16, 2019
Amazing isn't it? How the Universe has such an homogeneous appearance no matter which direction we point telescopes. Entropy at work, literally.
says Benni

I'm not certain that this article is about Entropy at work.

"1 Physics a thermodynamic quantity representing the unavailability of a system's thermal energy for conversion into mechanical work, often interpreted as the degree of disorder or randomness in the system. (Symbol: S)
2 lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder:"

Benni, I don't see very much disorder in the Universe. It all seems to be following an orderly process and pattern, and a progression toward assimilation where galaxies are slowly combining to become even larger. This assimilation ensures continued Star generation when smaller galaxies have stopped making more Stars and begin to stagnate due to less Star-making materiel being available.
But yes, it certainly IS amazing. :)

May 16, 2019
@Benni
Entropy at work, literally.


What nonsense. Why should you claim such a silly thing. Do you actually understand what the word entropy means? I think not.
says RNP

Wouldn't it have been far more conducive to keep science and helpful to just explain WHY you didn't consider Entropy to be appropriate in this instance? Of course Benni understands the meaning and application of Entropy. He has expressed such knowledge many times before.

May 16, 2019
Oh scary. More data. Cranks are against data.

May 17, 2019
Entropy at work, literally.


What nonsense. Why should you claim such a silly thing. Do you actually understand what the word entropy means? I think not.
says RNP

Wouldn't it have been far more conducive to keep science and helpful to just explain WHY you didn't consider Entropy to be appropriate in this instance? Of course Benni understands the meaning and application of Entropy. He has expressed such knowledge many times before.


.....ENTROPY is about just one thing, DISTRIBUTION OF ENERGY. When ENERGY is distributed in a random fashion it spherically radiates outward. Just watch a fireworks display when an unencumbered open air explosion takes place, that is the random nature of energy being distributed, it's why the Universe is spherically shaped.

May 17, 2019
What Exactly Is Entropy

Is it an ordered state moving to a disordered state
Is it a hot cup of coffee cooling to a cold cup of coffee
Is a car crashing resulting in a crumpled twisted car, turning into a disordered arrangement of parts
When stars explode into disorder to dust, that dust coalesces gravitationally a fiery star again

For what exactly is entropy in this infinite vacuous vacuum
For in this vacuum it is not order to disorder
Because these atoms remain unchanged
To form dust that coalesces gravitational to form the very stars
That began this Entropy in the first place
Atoms are not affected by Entropy
What exactly is this Entropy
That we think is Entropy is not in fact Entropy

Entropy, dust to star is star to dust, is this circle of life

May 17, 2019
Entropy is this Phoenix rising from these ashes

Entropy, spherical expansion
< Benni, ENTROPY is about just one thing, DISTRIBUTION OF ENERGY. When ENERGY is distributed in a random fashion it spherically radiates outward. Just watch a fireworks display when an unencumbered open air explosion takes place, that is the random nature of energy being distributed, it's why the Universe is spherically shaped >

Entropy
Spherical expansion, as when a star explodes - atoms are flung outwards
For these atoms remain unchanged to form dust that gravitationally coalesces to form stars to be flung outwards in spherical expansion yet again
Entropy, is not the be all and end all
Entropy, is not this death of this universe
Entropy is a continuous circle of life in this infinite vacuous vacuum

Entropy is this Phoenix rising from these ashes, to rise yet again, from this last time

May 17, 2019
I'm not certain that this article is about Entropy at work.
......I'm simply pointing out that the picture is the result of ENTROPY in progress, that when energy is distributed in an unencumbered fashion the shape of particles to follow will randomly form a sphere. This is the reason Cosmology hates any discussion about ENTROPY because it defies the existence of Dark Energy.

I'm just waiting for this Comment: "Entropy is local"

May 17, 2019
What Exactly Is Entropy

Is it an ordered state moving to a disordered state
Is it a hot cup of coffee cooling to a cold cup of coffee
Is a car crashing resulting in a crumpled twisted car, turning into a disordered arrangement of parts
When stars explode into disorder to dust, that dust coalesces gravitationally a fiery star again

For what exactly is entropy in this infinite vacuous vacuum
For in this vacuum it is not order to disorder
Because these atoms remain unchanged
To form dust that coalesces gravitational to form the very stars
That began this Entropy in the first place
Atoms are not affected by Entropy
What exactly is this Entropy
That we think is Entropy is not in fact Entropy

Entropy, dust to star is star to dust, is this circle of life
says granville

I like to think of Entropy as a 'DISORDERLY STATE' gradually turning into an Orderly and Methodical state of being/existence. I don't see the Universe as falling into chaos and disorder.

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