Scientists at NASA released what they are calling one of the “most colorful deep space images ever captured” by the Hubble Deep Space Telescope. The image is a composite of multiple exposures taken from 2003 to 2012.
The photo contains almost 10,000 galaxies as far back in time as a few hundred million years after the Big Bang. They were taken with ultraviolet lenses, which researches described as extremely valuable in providing information of star formation in nearby galaxies.
Prior to the image, NASA scientists extensively studied star births from incredibly far galaxies, as the light takes longer to travel to earth. But they had a dearth of information regarding stars in closer galaxies.
To make things even harder, Earth’s atmosphere filters out most ultraviolet light, so a space-based telescope like the Hubble is a necessity for the study. Knowing about these intermediate star formations allows astronomers to understand how galaxies grew.
“The lack of information from ultraviolet light made studying galaxies in the [Hubble Ultra-Deep Field] like trying to understand the history of families without knowing about the grade-school children,” said principal investigator Harry Teplitz of Caltech in Pasadena, Calif. “The addition of the ultraviolet fills in this missing range.”