Big Bang Monday: H.U.D.F.

Hubble Ultra Deep Field
WTF is HUDF? Hubble Ultra Deep Field, KWIM?

It’s the deepest ever. Seriously:

The Hubble Ultra-Deep Field (HUDF) is an image of a small region of space in the constellation Fornax, composited from Hubble Space Telescope data accumulated over a period from September 24, 2003, through to January 16, 2004. It is the deepest image of the universe ever taken,[1] looking back approximately 13 billion years (between 400 and 800 million years after the Big Bang), and it will be used to search for galaxies that existed at that time. The HUDF image was taken in a section of the sky with a low density of bright stars in the near-field, allowing much better viewing of dimmer, more distant objects. The image contains an estimated 10,000 galaxies. In August and September 2009, the Hubble’s Deep Field was expanded using the infrared channel of the recently attached Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3). When combined with existing HUDF data, astronomers were able to identify a new list of potentially very distant galaxies.[2]

Located southwest of Orion in the southern-hemisphere constellation Fornax, the image covers 11.0 square arcminutes. This is just one-seventieth the solid angle subtended by the full moon as viewed from Earth, smaller than a 1 mm-by-1 mm square of paper held 1 meter away, and equal to roughly one thirteen-millionth of the total area of the sky. The image is oriented so that the upper left corner points toward north (−46.4°) on the celestial sphere.

This would look good on your wall.

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One Comment

  • Roman Tytla says:

    It has to be my most favorite Hubble image (so far). To the “not so deep” person it’s just a picture of a bunch of blobs in space but to a individual who likes to ponder the meaning of life, the HUDF images can really get the imagination going. First thing that comes to mind is the existence of God, The Universal Mind or whatever you want to call the divine. At church this past Sunday our beloved pastor spoke about Atheism. His summary went like this, “Atheism – The belief that there was nothing and nothing happened to nothing and then nothing magically exploded for no reason, creating everything and then a bunch of everything magically rearranged itself for no reason whatsoever into self-replicating bits which then turned into dinosaurs.”

    Makes perfect sense.