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Hubble Reveals Deepest View Ever Of Night Sky
Astronomers have unveiled the deepest view yet of the night sky.
Ten years of Hubble Space Telescope images have been pieced together, revealing a kaleidoscope of galaxies and other celestial objects.
More than 2,000 images of the same field, taken by Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys and its near-infrared Wide Field Camera 3, were combined to form the eXtreme Deep Field, or XDF.
It adds another 5,500 galaxies to Hubble's 2003 and 2004 view into a tiny patch of the farthest universe.
Hubble has returned to the same target more than 50 times over the past decade, racking up an additional two million seconds of exposure time.
The most distant objects found so far date back to about 500 million years after the universe's formation some 13.7 billion years ago.
The early universe was a violent place, filled with colliding and merging galaxies that radiate in bright blue light, a telltale sign of new star formation.
The Hubble portrait also shows brilliantly shining spiral galaxies and older red fuzzy galaxies whose star-formation days are over.
"The XDF is the deepest image of the sky ever obtained," said astronomer Garth Illingworth, from the University of California in Santa Cruz.
"It allows us to explore further back in time than ever before."