There are thousands of galaxies in the narrow field of sky Hubble looked at – an area no bigger than looking at the sky through a soda straw. Thanks to Hubble, scientists estimate there are some two trillion galaxies in the universe
We chat with Dr. Dan Coe, astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute about this new deep field image, and find out how Hubble uses nature’s own magnifying lens to see some of the faintest galaxies ever seen.
Hubble’s frontier fields program uses the gravitational power of massive galaxy clusters deep in space to magnify the light of galaxies too faint and distant for Hubble to see directly. The resulting image is like a funhouse mirror, showing galaxies that appear distorted and stretched. This gravitational lensing effect is the best tool for finding and studying one of nature’s biggest secrets, something called dark matter.
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