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Leslie_Hubertus's avatar
Ret. Employee
Jun 26, 2023

20 years ago: Hubble Ultra-Deep Field began

In August 2003, the Hubble Space Telescope began the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field project, which ended 800 exposures later, on January 16, 2004. The images from this project resulted in the image below, containing over 10,000 galaxies. It was the furthest we'd seen until the James Webb Telescope began its mission more recently. 

"This view of nearly 10,000 galaxies is called the Hubble Ultra Deep Field. The snapshot includes galaxies of various ages, sizes, shapes, and colours. The smallest, reddest galaxies, about 100, may be among the most distant known, existing when the universe was just 800 million years old. The nearest galaxies - the larger, brighter, well-defined spirals and ellipticals - thrived about 1 billion years ago, when the cosmos was 13 billion years old.

The image required 800 exposures taken over the course of 400 Hubble orbits around Earth. The total amount of exposure time was 11.3 days, taken between Sept. 24, 2003 and Jan. 16, 2004.


NASA, ESA, and S. Beckwith (STScI) and the HUDF Team"

Images like this inspired me and thousands of others. I'm curious what technological breakthroughs you might point to as inspiring you, whether personally or professionally. Let us know in the comments below!

2 Replies

  • Thinking about the troubled start Hubbled had I would say it came around with a vengeance πŸ˜‹

    It shows both the strengths and weaknesses of technology but also what a determined group of people can accomplish even in the most precarious of situations. Something we all can take with us in our day-to-day jobs.

    • Leslie_Hubertus's avatar
      Ret. Employee

      The idea of giving a telescope a corrective lens sounds like it should be sci-fi, but I love that it actually happened. The level of engineering that had to go in to making that lens alone was staggering, much less all the engineering that went in to making it possible for the lens to be installed (launch/orbital planning, vehicle readiness and launch, EVA stuits, plus literally everything else from life support to food to toilets). I've always been fascinated and inspired by the space program.