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Pictures in Science

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I believe this is particularly true when it comes to science. What better way to get a non-scientific audience interested in the newest scientific discovery or technological innovation than through a captivating photograph without all the unintelligible technical jargon?

This is the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field.

This image was composited from data collected by the Hubble Space Telescope while it was aimed at a relatively modest portion of the night sky from September, 2003 until January, 2004. Those aren’t stars in the picture, every smudge and smear of light is an entire galaxy. In this picture alone, there are over 10,000 galaxies, each galaxy possibly containing anywhere from 10 million to a 100 trillion stars. As recent planet hunting research in our own Milky Way Galaxy has unveiled, it is believed that many of these star systems are also home to extrasolar planets. Let’s not forget that this is just one tiny fraction of the night sky. The observable universe is believed to contain over 100 billion galaxies. Daaang.

It’s pictures like these that really help you put things into perspective.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. February 27, 2012 at 5:26 am

    It doesn’t even look real. The picture reminds me of a cartoon photo you would find in one of the science for kids magazines. But once you realize that, no this is an actual photo of a spec in the universe, you are awestruck. Or at least I am.

  2. johnwmanning
    March 3, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Space has always been a fascination of mine. What I love about this picture is all of the questions that will come with it. Especially the question of whether, or not, there are planets in these galaxies that can support life. I find it interesting that people still believe that Earth is the only planet that can sustain life. Looking at this picture, I find the odds are overwhelmingly in favor of extra terrestrial life somewhere out there. Even if .0000000001% (random amount of zeroes) of the stars in these galaxies have orbiting planets, the odds are still phenomenal. What I have trouble wrapping my head around is when scientist say that space is still growing. I find it hard to imagine space growing into more space. I really like this picture! It opens up a wave of questions that are, most of the time, far too complicated to understand.

  3. xavierholmes
    March 5, 2012 at 1:43 am

    It’s concepts like this that really get you thinking. No matter how hard I try I probably won’t ever be able to grasp how massive our galaxy is let alone the ten thousand in that picture. Also if you are someone who belongs to the school of thought that believes that the universe is infinite then technically there could be an infinite number of copies of Earth out there that might only differ from ours by a couple very small details. That means that somewhere out there in the vast reaches of space there’s another me in a room much like the one I’m in now at this very moment doing this exact same assignment except the only difference is that he actually enjoys it ( ← scary).

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