For close to 30 years now, the Hubble Space Telescope has been studying the universe in minute detail, and this powerful telescope has now revealed “lost” light of the universe in a breathtakingly beautiful new NASA photograph.
As the Express reports, astronomers have discovered how to detect this lost light of the universe within the far-flung Hubble Ultra-Deep Field images (HUDF). The HUDF has captured an area of Fornax constellation, which astronomers have suggested may contain as many as 10,000 galaxies within it.
Scientists at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) have recently finished processing and adding to images that have already been created by the Hubble Space Telescope and have now shown the world lost light which had never been spotted before. Through their reprocessing efforts, light was eventually discovered hiding in the outer zones of some of the biggest galaxies around Fornax.
As IAC scientists explained, “Recovering this light, emitted by the stars in these outer zones, was equivalent to recovering the light from a complete galaxy.”
Now that the so-called missing light has been recovered in the Hubble images, some of the galaxies have now been shown to have much larger diameters than they first appeared to in the original images that hadn’t been reprocessed.
— Cosmological (@kenserlore96) January 27, 2019
Alejandro Borlaff, the IAC team’s project leader, stated that the team searched through a vast archive of original images and reprocessed these to provide a much higher quality image of the universe that could reveal its mysteries in greater detail.
“What we have done is to go back to the archive of the original images, directly as observed by Hubble, and improve the process of combination. We aimed at the best image quality not only for the more distant smaller galaxies but also for the extended regions of the largest galaxies.”
Borlaff further noted that the new Hubble Space Telescope image which has revealed the universe’s lost light was “possible thanks to a striking improvement in the techniques of image processing which has been achieved in recent years, a field in which the group working in the IAC is at the forefront.”
The HUDF itself came about through a total of 800 exposures and 230 hours worth of the Hubble’s observations between September 24, 2003, and January 16, 2004, with its Wide Field Camera 3, with all of the many images taken later combined to showcase a gorgeous snapshot of 10,000 galaxies.
It is thanks to the Hubble Space Telescope and all of the dedicated scientists working with it that we now have a stunning new image of lost light in the universe.