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This Is One of the Clearest Images Ever Taken of the Universe

This Is One of the Clearest Images Ever Taken of the Universe

The Hubble Space Telescope, which has been NASA’s workhorse for incredible photos of the universe since it launched in 1990 (wow), has just done it again—the space agency just published one of the clearest images of the universe yet.
I guess if you consider “the universe” to include everything, a super high-res photo of your cat could qualify, but let’s be real here: What you’re seeing is a cross-section of the universe, showcasing objects that are one billion times fainter than those that you can see with your naked eye. Most of the things that look close are actually billions of light years apart, and most of them are billions of light years away from us. Check out the ultra high-res version here.
How’d the telescope capture it? The same way you capture something in the dark here on Earth—with a really long exposure. The telescope took the photos using infrared and standard sensors, with an exposure time of 14 hours. As you’ll see in this picture:
Image: NASA

Certain galaxies—we know them by the names Fred, Ginger, and the ultra common name Class B1608+656 (it was probably huge in the 80s)—are large enough to “visibly distort the light from object behind them,” which is why you’ll see those curved things behind them.
And, for comparison’s sake, here’s what the same thing looks like when you try to take a picture from an Earth telescope. 
Image: NASA

Yeah, let’s keep some sort of telescope in space.
TOPICS: spacenasa, Space photographythe universemachineshubble space telescope

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