Starts With A Bang

Astronomers Push The Limits Of Hubble (Synopsis)

Image credit: NASA, ESA, R. Windhorst, S. Cohen, M. Mechtley, and M. Rutkowski (Arizona State University, Tempe), R. O'Connell (University of Virginia), P. McCarthy (Carnegie Observatories), N. Hathi (University of California, Riverside), R. Ryan (University of California, Davis), H. Yan (Ohio State University), and A. Koekemoer (Space Telescope Science Institute), of the GOODS field as imaged by Hubble.

“The wonder is, not that the field of stars of so vast, but that man has measured it.” -Anatole France

If you could gather 250 million times as much light as your eye, and improve your resolution by several orders of magnitude, you just might be able to see what the Hubble Space Telescope can. By extending down into the near-infrared, and combining those observations with that from other great observatories like Chandra and Spitzer, we can probe the star-formation history of the Universe.

Image credit: NASA, ESA, the GOODS Team and M. Giavalisco (STScI/University of Massachusetts), of a region of the GOODS field with a large number of dwarf galaxies, an important contributor to star formation.

Thanks to NASA’s GOODS and CANDELS programs, we’ve been able to determine when the Universe becomes reionized, when star formation peaks and how it declines up through the present day.

Image credit: NASA, ESA, A. van der Wel (Max Planck Institute for Astronomy), H. Ferguson and A. Koekemoer (Space Telescope Science Institute), and the CANDELS team, of a region containing 18 galaxies forming stars so quickly that the number of stars inside will double in just 10 million years: just 0.1% the lifetime of the Universe.

Go read the whole piece in no more than 200 words and a glorious set of pictures on today’s Mostly Mute Monday!