Thursday, August 13, 2009

Galaxies like stars in the sky

There's an antidote to reading about the Cheney torture program and the GOP's insurance-company funded attack on health insurance reform.

Download the images linked here, and open them in a robust image viewer. Browse at will. Visit galaxies as they were billions of years ago. Squint very hard, and image you're seeing something squinting up from one of the billions of worlds in the billions of stars ...
ESO - ESO 39/08 - A Pool of Galaxies - Associated Image

... The new image released by ESO combines data obtained with the VIMOS instrument in the U- and R-bands, as well as data obtained in the B-band with the Wide-Field Imager (WFI) attached to the 2.2 m MPG/ESO telescope at La Silla, in the framework of the GABODS survey.

The newly released U-band image – the result of 40 hours of staring at the same region of the sky and just made ready by the GOODS team – is the deepest image ever taken from the ground in this wavelength domain. At these depths, the sky is almost completely covered by galaxies, each one, like our own galaxy, the Milky Way, home of hundreds of billions of stars.

Galaxies were detected that are a billion times fainter than the unaided eye can see and over a range of colours not directly observable by the eye. This deep image has been essential to the discovery of a large number of new galaxies that are so far away that they are seen as they were when the Universe was only 2 billion years old....

Be sure to try the zoom tool.

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