Hubble Space Telescope takes deepest image of the universe ever

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has taken some of the most amazing photographs of space over the years that I've ever seen. NASA has announced the unveiling of the deepest image of the universe ever snapped. The photograph you see below is called the eXtreme Deep Field or XDF.

The photograph was assembled by combining 10 years worth of NASA Hubble space telescope photographs taken of a specific patch of sky in the center of the original Hubble Ultra Deep Field. NASA reports that the photograph represents a small fraction of the angular diameter of the full moon. The photograph is of a small area of space in the consolation Fornax and shows about 5,500 galaxies.

The data used to create this new image was collected in 2003 and 2004. The telescope collected faint traces of light over many hours of observation to reveal the thousands of galaxies you see in the photograph. The faintest galaxies in this photograph have a light output one ten-billionth the brightness of what we can see with the naked eye.

The data used to construct these photographs was taken over a period of 50 days with the total exposure time of 2,000,000 seconds. NASA used more than 2000 images of the same field taken using Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys in the Wide Field Camera 3. When you look at the second image showing the tiny slice of sky the first image represents, it's simply amazing.

[via Clarksville Online]