A resplendent new composite image shows off 265,000 galaxies — which were slowly but surely captured over 16 years of observations by the Hubble Space Telescope.
The image, called the Hubble Legacy Field, is made up of 7,500 separate images of distant galaxies. Some are so far away that our images of them represent how they looked as far back as just 500 million years after the Big Bang, according to a press release.
You can zoom in and watch tiny specks of lights reveal themselves to be entire galaxies — some of which Hubble scientists say are 10 billion times too faint to see with the naked eye.
“Now that we have gone wider than in previous surveys, we are harvesting many more distant galaxies in the largest such dataset ever produced,” Garth Illingworth, the University of California, Santa Cruz scientist who led the project to assemble the image. “No image will surpass this one until future space telescopes like James Webb are launched.”
More on space telescopes: Hubble data: The Universe Is Expanding Faster and Faster