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Cliff's Corner -
A Mind-Bending Look at the Hubble Deep Field Photos of the Universe

All Three Hubble Deep Field Photos    Click on photos to enlarge the images.
Hubble Deep Field Fly-Thru Video    Takes awhile to load, but it's worth the wait.

Unless you follow science and astronomy, it's likely you have never heard of the famous Hubble Deep Field, Hubble Ultra Deep Field and Hubble Extreme Deep Field photos. These photos were taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1996, 2004 and 2012 respectively and they absolutely stunned the science community.

HUBBLE DEEP FIELD - It all started back in 1996 when a group of astronomers pointed the Hubble Space Telescope at an empty patch in the sky close, the size of a pin head, in hopes of seeing something, anything. At the time, it was considered to be a risky move, given that demand for use of the telescope was so high. What if the experiment yielded no results? What if nothing but an empty image was the final result? After 10 full days of exposing the telescope’s sensor to this seemingly empty patch of sky near the Big Dipper, a breathtaking image was produced. Over three thousand galaxies appeared in one image — some as dots, others as spirals. It was a visual reminder of just how big our universe really is.

HUBBLE ULTRA DEEP FIELD - In 2004, astronomers pointed Hubble near constellation Orion and opened the shutter for a whopping 11 days. Using sensitive detectors and specialized filters, the telescope was able to capture a stunning image with over 10,000 galaxies.

HUBBLE EXTREME DEEP FIELD - It didn't end there. In 2012, NASA scientists created the Hubble Extreme Deep Field, which has an equivalent exposure time to 23 days and features. It's the deepest image of the sky ever obtained that reveals the faintest and most distant galaxies ever seen.

HUBBLE FLY THROUGH - Scientists later used redshift calculations of the galaxies to turn the Hubble Ultra Deep Field photograph into a fly-thru view of the photo.

And just think: scientists created these photos by pointing their mega-camera at a tiny speck of the night sky that appeared to be completely devoid of visible stars!

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