From Hubble, The Deepest-Ever View Of The Universe

The Hubble Space Telescope stitches together 10 years' worth of photos into an extreme view.

eXtreme Deep Field View Of Space

NASA, ESA, G. Illingworth, D. Magee, and P. Oesch (University of California, Santa Cruz), R. Bouwens (Leiden University), and the HUDF09 Team

Take a deep breath, stargazers: this is the farthest we've seen into the heart of the universe. The eXtreme Deep Field, or XDF, as the photo's called, shows about 5,500 galaxies, although some are as much are only one ten-billionth of the brightness needed to be seen by human eyes.

The photo is actually something of a mosaic: there are 10 years' worth of photos from the Hubble Space Telescope. The Hubble Ultra Deep Field, an image showing a slice of space in the constellation Fornax, was assembled in 2003 and 2004 with data from Hubble; it was a major leap toward seeing the edges of the universe, but with help from an infrared camera attached to Hubble in 2008, along with use of visible light, we got what you see here, an image of what it's like closer than ever to the first galaxies.