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Astronomers create space evolution mosaic using 16 years of Hubble data
The team is already working on the second set of images.
Astronomers have successfully merged 264,000 galaxies into a single mosaic, dating back to the time just 500 million years after the big bang. The scientists used the NASA's Hubble Telescope data which was gathered in the last 16 years, to chronicle the universe's evolution into a single image.
The portrait depicts how the galaxies have transformed over time, turning into giant galaxies. Galaxies help astronomers to trace the expansion of the universe, offering clues to the underlying physics of the cosmos, and also let us understand our solar system better.
"This one image contains the full history of the growth of galaxies in the universe, from their time as 'infants' to when they grew into fully fledged 'adults'," said Garth Illingworth of the University of California, Santa Cruz.
The latest mosaic is the first in a series of Hubble Legacy Field images. The team is already working on the second set of images. The image will include more than 5,200 Hubble exposures, and show another area of the sky.
NASA's Hubble Telescope has always been ahead when it comes to chronicling space events. The telescope recently found more evidence of water on the surface of Jupiter's icy moon Europa. It is one of the 50 moons orbiting Jupiter and is also considered to be a "top candidate" for life elsewhere in the solar system.
NASA also released Hubble images showing how a red star spews material that is absorbed by the white dwarf. And this leads to a "gravitational waltz," that forms the distinctive hourglass-like shape. The Southern Crab Nebula is a cluster of stars whose hourglass-shaped structure makes it a standout nebula in the universe.
The European Space Agency (ESA) explained: "When enough of this cast-off material is pulled onto the white dwarf, it too ejects the material outwards in an eruption, creating the structures we see in the nebula."