A website that I really enjoy visiting when I am randomly browsing the web is “Astronomy Picture of the Day“.
It is quite a spectacular collections of images taken by astronomers and their equipment worldwide. Each picture has an explanation of what is shown in the picture and some of the science behind it.
I often use these images as a teaching point or a bit of an intro or lesson starter when teaching Space topics in both Physics and Junior Science. It is a great way to capture students attention and imagination.
Here’s today’s picture and the explanation below (from APOD)
The Hubble Extreme Deep Field
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, G. Illingworth, D. Magee, and P. Oesch (UCSC), R. Bouwens (Leiden Obs.), and the XDF Team
Explanation: What did the first galaxies look like? To help answer this question, the Hubble Space Telescope has just finished taking the eXtreme Deep Field (XDF), the deepest image of the universe ever taken in visible light. Pictured above, the XDF shows a sampling of some of the oldest galaxies ever seen, galaxies that formed just after the dark ages, 13 billion years ago, when the universe was only a few percent of its present age. The Hubble Space Telescope’s ACS camera and the infrared channel of the WFPC3 camera took the image. Combining efforts spread over 10 years, the XDF is more sensitive, in some colors, than the original Hubble Deep Field (HDF), the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF) completed in 2004, and the HUDF Infrared completed in 2009. Astronomers the world over will likely study the XDF for years to come to better understand how stars and galaxies formed in the early universe.