Thursday, March 22, 2012

Blow Your Little Mind

Someone turned me on Wednesday night to the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field (HUDF). I've seen this image before, without really knowing what it was. Well, according to Wikipedia, this is "an image of a small region of space in the constellation Fornax, composited from Hubble Space Telescope data accumulated over a period from September 24, 2003 to January 16, 2004. It is the deepest image of the universe ever taken."

Gaze upon your universe, Earthling.


Now, here's where it gets interesting. This image captures 10,000 galaxies, and reaches back 13 billion years to a time approximately 400 to 800 million years after the Big Bang.

And here's where it gets mind-blowing. The image covers a tiny patch of sky which, before HUDF, appeared to be basically empty, and which equals roughly one thirteen-millionth of the total area of the sky. One thirteen-millionth of the total area of the sky!  

The known universe is 78 billion light years across, it's expanding at an ever-increasing rate, which at its farthest reaches can exceed the speed of light, and it's chock full of a myriad of galaxies and an unknowable number of stars.

Think about that the next time you tie a #22 emerger on a 7X tippet.

(Download your own HUDF image HERE.)


  1. Replies
    1. Ha! Good one. And so true. Greatly appreciated your reflections on that in your last post. I like to think we can regain the sense of wonderment that our dogs still have (nice observation), and looking at the night sky really helps. Thanks for reading and commenting, Erin.