Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

October 12, 1998

The Hubble Deep Field in Infrared
Credit: R. I. Thompson (U. Arizona), NICMOS, HST, NASA

Explanation: Galaxies this faint have never been seen before. In 1996 the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) created one of the most famous pictures of modern astronomy, the Hubble Deep Field (HDF). Now HST has returned to a piece of the HDF for a long exposure by its new NICMOS camera, sensitive to infrared light. The resulting image, shown above in representative colour, shows known galaxies in a new light, and previously unknown galaxies probably further than anything ever seen before. Galaxies as dim as magnitude 30 are visible. Astronomers are learning from the HDF how different the young universe was from the familiar universe of today.

Tomorrow's picture: The Dumbbell Nebula's Centre

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.