In the cover story of the June 2014 issue of Sky & Telescope, a team of scientists uses the Hubble Space Telescope to look back through cosmic time to the dawn of the universe, back to the time when galaxies were just beginning to form. With hundreds of hours of observing time on one of humanity's best telescopes, these researchers captured images of infant galaxies, witnessed the fireworks of star formation at cosmic high noon, and searched for distant supernovae that act as extragalactic yardsticks to measure the expansion of the universe. To read more, pick up a copy of the June 2014 issue.
Hubble captured so many images during 600 hours of observing time, we couldn't include them all in the print article, so we've made several extra images available as an image gallery below.
This artist’s rendition depicts z8_GND_5296. The galaxy is blazing with the blue light of hot, luminous stars. It’s just a few percent the size and mass of our Milky Way.
V. Tilvi / S. Finkelstein / C. Papovich / Hubble Heritage Team
Top: These CANDELS images show two galaxies as imaged through four different infrared filters. Bottom: These images are computer simulations of how these galaxies might appear if we could view them closer up. Both galaxies are at redshift 1.2, corresponding to a cosmic age of 5.2 billion years. Both galaxies have large clumps that are rapidly forming stars, presumably due to a recent major infall of gas.
Hubble's Ultra Deep Survey uncovered 28 dwarf galaxies that were brimming with star formation 9 billion years ago.
Hubble uses several filters to spy on a clumpy disk galaxy in the distant universe.
Clumpy galaxies seen in the CANDELS survey.
With a diameter of about 650 light-years, the Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud is one of the largest star-forming regions in the Local Group of galaxies. But it pales in comparison to some of the giant stellar nurseries seen by CANDELS in high-redshift galaxies.
NASA / ESA / D. Lennon / E. Sabbi (STSCI), et al.