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  Deep field trippin'Oct 13, 2011 2:38 AM PDT | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:Tried to get the brushwork a little livelier today, and to use the whiteness of the paper more effectively. Still feeling a bit clumsy at this new medium, so thanks for bearing with me--it will gradually get somewhat better.
 
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I accidentally wrote an extra news post last week! An incredibly image-heavy one! I saved it up because I knew it would come in handy, and here it is:
 
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One thing it's easy to forget in looking at space photos like the ones I posted a week ago of Centaurus A is that those things in the background that look like little stars (and they'd be much closer than the galaxy, since they'd be in our own Milky Way, just in the way--if you will--of the view of the galaxy from Earth) are often entire galaxies themselves. For instance, I was looking at this pretty picture of the Spindle Galaxy
 
Image
image by NASA (source)
 
which is a lenticular galaxy seen edge-on from Earth (lots of dust in it!), and I noticed I could see some background galaxies around it, particularly in the upper-right corner. So I looked at the full-size version you can download from the source page, and...man! Lookit all the galaxies you can see just around that bright foreground star in that upper-right corner (I've rotated this 90 degrees counter-clockwise to fit it in the news column :p):
 
Image
image by NASA (source)
 
They're really packed in there!
 
Of course, there's the famous Hubble Deep Field image from 1996, where the space telescope looked at a small area of the sky ("an area 2.5 arcminutes across, two parts in a million of the whole sky, which is equivalent in angular size to a 65 mm tennis ball at a distance of 100 metres") for ten days to get a really deep exposure of nearly 3000 galaxies packed into that tiny sliver of sky:
 
Image
image by NASA (source)
 
And then it went even "deeper"--for fainter and fainter light, from farther and farther away--in 2003-2004 with the eleven-day-total exposure of "11.0 square arcminutes" ... "just one-seventieth the solid angle subtended by the full moon as viewed from Earth, smaller than a 1 mm-by-1 mm square of paper held 1 meter away, and equal to roughly one thirteen-millionth of the total area of the sky" known as the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field:
 
Image
image by NASA (source)
 
Now let's zoom in on say about a 15% slice of the full resolution ultra-deep field:
 
Image
image by NASA (source)
 
Ooh. Here's a diagram showing how far "back" the deep field images see:
 
Image
image by NASA (source)
 
Lots of galaxies out there still. :)
 
 
 
 
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