The patch of sky in this image has been previously studied by astronomers, and is known as the “Hubble Ultra Deep Field.” With the addition of ultraviolet light, they combined the full range of colors available to Hubble, from ultraviolet to near-infrared light. The resulting image below is made from 841 orbits of telescope viewing time, and contains approximately 10,000 galaxies.
But wait. Take a moment to grasp the scale of this image. You may have some idea of how big the earth is, especially if you’ve ridden in a chair in the sky to Hawaii, Guam, or some other location that required several hours to reach. You also know how big an orange is. Generally speaking, stars are no closer together than a dozen oranges might be if they were floating around at maximum distance from each other inside a hollow sphere the diameter of our planet.
So take a little of your time to daydream about why the universe we can see is SO ABSOLUTELY HUGE, and your chances of seeing more than the world your butt is sitting on are, yes, really, also huge.* And if you have some time to burn, you should burn it at the ZOO— classifying galaxies. Or here. Or at the very least, get impregnated with a few amazing facts:
* Or, if you’re tired of having a meager cosmology and want answers to the important questions, go HERE.