Space

Hubble has made the largest near-infrared image of space (photo)

In the near infrared, astronomers will be able to observe the earliest galaxies that are farthest from Earth.

An international group of scientists has published the largest near-infrared image ever obtained by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. This allowed astronomers to map the regions of star formation in the universe and will help to find out how the earliest and most distant galaxies arose. To create an overview, scientists used the 3D-DASH program (The 3D-Drift And SHift), which will help researchers find rare objects and targets for subsequent observations. They will be taken care of by the recently launched James Webb Space Telescope during its multi-year mission.

The Hubble Space Telescope showed the cosmos by combining several images into one image. Photo: Ivelina Momcheva

A preprint of the paper to be published in The Astrophysical Journal is available on arXiv.

“The 3D-DASH program extends Hubble’s legacy in large—area imaging, so we can begin to unravel the mysteries of galaxies beyond our own,” explains Lamia Moula of the Dunlap Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Toronto and lead author of the study.

A section of the sky obtained using 3D DASH shows the brightest and rarest objects in the universe.
Photo: Gabe Brammer

The program makes images faster than the usual technique, eight pictures instead of one. As a result, it takes not 2,000, but 250 hours to complete the same work. The 3D DASH covers a total area almost six times the size of the moon in the sky when viewed from Earth. This record will probably remain the undefeated successor to Hubble, which was created for photosensitive close-up images.

Galaxies over the last 10 billion years, witnessed in the 3D-DASH program created using 3D-DASH/F160W and ACS-COSMOS/F814W images. Photo: Lamiya Mowla

In the near infrared, astronomers will be able to observe the earliest galaxies that are farthest from Earth.


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