A stunning galaxy captured in stunning detail

Hubble Space Telescope image of the spiral galaxy ESO 415-19, , located 450 million light-years away. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, J. Dalcanton, Dark Energy Survey/DOE/FNAL/DECam/CTIO/ NOIRLab/NSF/AURA

A unique spiral galaxy[{” attribute=””>ESO 415-19, which is located approximately 450 million light-years away from Earth, stretches lazily across this image from the

Hubble Ultra Deep Field

This view of nearly 10,000 galaxies is called the Hubble Ultra Deep Field. The snapshot includes galaxies of various ages, sizes, shapes, and colors. The smallest, reddest galaxies may be among the most distant known, existing when the universe was just about 800 million years old. The nearest galaxies – the larger, brighter, well-defined spirals and ellipticals – thrived about 1 billion years ago, when the cosmos was 13 billion years old. The image required 800 exposures taken over the course of 400 Hubble orbits around Earth. The total amount of exposure time was 11.3 days, taken between September 24, 2003, and January 16, 2004. Credit: NASA, ESA, and S. Beckwith (STScI) and the HUDF Team

This particular observation lies in a part of the night sky contained by the Fornax constellation. This constellation was also the site of a particularly important Hubble observation; the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (see image above). Creating the Ultra Deep Field required almost a million seconds of Hubble time, and captured nearly 10,000 galaxies of various ages, sizes, shapes, and colors. Just as climate scientists can recreate the planet’s atmospheric history from ice cores, astronomers can use deep field observations to explore slices of the Universe’s history from the present all the way to when the Universe was only 800 million years old!

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