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Old 12-08-2009, 04:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hubble Telescope takes its most distant picture yet

HubbleSite - NewsCenter - Hubble's Deepest View of Universe Unveils Never-Before-Seen Galaxies (12/08/2009) - Release Images
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NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has made the deepest image of the universe ever taken in near-infrared light. The faintest and reddest objects in the image are galaxies that formed 600 million years after the Big Bang. No galaxies have been seen before at such early times. The new deep view also provides insights into how galaxies grew in their formative years early in the universe's history.

The image was taken in the same region as the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF), which was taken in 2004 and is the deepest visible-light image of the universe. Hubble's newly installed Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) collects light from near-infrared wavelengths and therefore looks even deeper into the universe, because the light from very distant galaxies is stretched out of the ultraviolet and visible regions of the spectrum into near-infrared wavelengths by the expansion of the universe.

This image was taken by the HUDF09 team, which was awarded the time for the observation and made it available for research by astronomers worldwide. In just three months, 12 scientific papers have already been submitted on these new data.

The photo was taken with the new WFC3/IR camera on Hubble in late August 2009 during a total of four days of pointing for 173,000 seconds of total exposure time. Infrared light is invisible and therefore does not have colors that can be perceived by the human eye. The colors in the image are assigned comparatively short, medium, and long, near-infrared wavelengths (blue, 1.05 microns; green, 1.25 microns; red, 1.6 microns). The representation is "natural" in that blue objects look blue and red objects look red. The faintest objects are about one-billionth as bright as can be seen with the naked eye.

These Hubble observations are trailblazing a path for Hubble's successor, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which will look even farther into the universe than Hubble, at infrared wavelengths. The JWST is planned to be launched in 2014.

The HUDF09 team members are Garth Illingworth (University of California Observatories/Lick Observatory and the University of California, Santa Cruz), Rychard Bouwens (University of California Observatories/Lick Observatory and Leiden University), Pascal Oesch and Marcella Carollo (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich (ETH)), Marijn Franx (Leiden University), Ivo Labbe (Carnegie Institute of Washington), Daniel Magee (University of California, Santa Cruz), Massimo Stiavelli (Space Telescope Science Institute), Michele Trenti (University of Colorado, Boulder), and Pieter van Dokkum (Yale University).

For additional information, contact:

Ray Villard
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.
410-338-4514
villard@stsci.edu

Garth Illingworth
University of California Observatories/Lick Observatory and
the University of California, Santa Cruz, Calif.
831-459-2843
gdi@ucolick.org



Object Name: HUDF WFC3/IR

Image Type: Astronomical

Credit: NASA, ESA, G. Illingworth (UCO/Lick Observatory and the University of California, Santa Cruz), R. Bouwens (UCO/Lick Observatory and Leiden University), and the HUDF09 Team
It's no secret that the Hubble Ultra Deep Field image is one of my favorite things in the world. I've probably posted it at least 20 times in various contexts on TFP. To see even deeper into the universe than that is astounding, and Hubble and the James Webb Space Telescope are just going to reveal more of the universe's secrets to us as time goes on. Every picture the Hubble takes is personally meaningful to me because I look at them and see mind-blowing images taken by a big flying camera that my dad helped to build 20 years ago.

We have a few discussions going on about science right now on TFP, and some people are highly critical of the scientific community. To them, I say "This is it, this is science at its purest." Nobody is going to blow up other people with this research and NASA is never going to turn a profit on these projects. We just want a better understanding our universe. We still don't know what 96% of that universe is.
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Old 12-08-2009, 04:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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very cool! what weirds me out is how the galaxies and over all everything is soooo far apart! blows my mind. if going across the solar system takes a few 100 years, then going across the galaxy would be gazillion years.
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It really hurts my mind to try and think that you are looking back in time at that distance. That those galaxies are all much farther apart and are on the other side of the current universe. (It took light a really long time to travel this far, but I would think at a point you can't go back any farther because there has to be some start time = x distance formula, and we aren't on the far edge of the universe)

And there are probably high tech aliens in a lot of places.
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Old 12-11-2009, 12:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ASU2003 View Post
And there are probably high tech aliens in a lot of places.
With the events that brought life to earth so staggeringly improbable, I doubt that there are a lot out there. If life did arise in other places, the chance of them existing in a time frame during which either of us could find each other is even more unlikely. I don't doubt that there has been intelligent life out there, but I expect that most intelligent species that have lived are long dead.
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Old 12-11-2009, 01:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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That's pretty cool. And like the poster says, science at it's purest.

Now if they can just aim the Hubble at the moon and see if the abandoned moon buggy is on blocks and if the tires have been looted. (joking,.. for all you believers)
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Old 12-11-2009, 04:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by MSD View Post
With the events that brought life to earth so staggeringly improbable, I doubt that there are a lot out there. If life did arise in other places, the chance of them existing in a time frame during which either of us could find each other is even more unlikely. I don't doubt that there has been intelligent life out there, but I expect that most intelligent species that have lived are long dead.
Space is too big for the events to be improbable MSD. Think about it, the chances of me winning the lottery are slim. but if I have all the time on earth to get an exact match on any day then my chances increase. That's the rub right there.

As far as the aliens being "high-tech" I don't know about that but if there is a planet out there still with life ranging from dinosaurs to dogs then that is very much likely given the size of the universe.

What I have a question about though is elements of the periodic table. I believe that our basic system of counting is what led to the understanding of elements. Is there a possibility that we missed something like specified in all those sci-fi flicks? Could other elements and alloys exist that we do not yet know of?
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Old 12-12-2009, 02:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Xerxys View Post
What I have a question about though is elements of the periodic table. I believe that our basic system of counting is what led to the understanding of elements. Is there a possibility that we missed something like specified in all those sci-fi flicks? Could other elements and alloys exist that we do not yet know of?
There may be some compounds that we don't know about, and have never seen before, but there are only so many ways to arrange protons, neutrons, and electrons. And the elements on the table are at their basic form and arrangements.

There may also be some higher number elements that may exist.
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Old 12-12-2009, 02:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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To address the OP, those are some pretty amazing images, and it truly does put one in their place. No matter how self-important you are, remember you are a tiny speck on a slightly larger speck floating around in an infinite and ever-expanding universe. So existentialist. You exist somewhere in all of this



On to the treadjacks

#1 - other life: it is very probable that there is life in other places of the universe. It may not be life we can relate to, or understand, or even have the ability to classify as life at this point, but that does not mean it doesn't exist. hell we are still discovering things on our own planet, let's not jump to conclusions and assume we are the only things around. Only a few hundred years ago, we were convinced that we were actually at the center of the universe.

Which segues into TJ2, the discovering other alloys bit. We definitely aren't even close to discovering all there is to find on our own planet. Science has a way of being pompous and overconfident, but the fact is that many hard and fast facts have been discredited as new technologies and discoveries are made. I'm especially interested in what we'll find out using the supercollider.

I would be very interested to hear people's thoughts on TJ1 - are we alone in the universe? I think it does relate somewhat to the OP as well...
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Old 12-18-2009, 02:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I love this, I have always been a stargazer.
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