This view shows a section of the widest deep view of the sky ever taken using infrared light, with a total effective exposure time of 55 hours. This picture shows a region of the sky known as the COSMOS field in the constellation of Sextans (The Sextant). More than 200,000 galaxies have been identified in this picture.
CREDIT: ESO/UltraVISTA team. Acknowledgement: TERAPIX/CNRS/INSU/CASU
More than 200,000 galaxies take center stage in a staggering photo snapped by a European telescope, an image that scientists say is the deepest view of the sky ever recorded at this size in infrared light.
The European Southern Observatory’s VISTA telescope (the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy) in Chile captured the galactic treasure trove tucked inside what astronomers thought was an unremarkable patch of the sky. It was discovered by the observatory’s UltraVISTA survey, a project that studies distant galaxies in the early universe and star formation by repeatedly scanning a section of the sky to obtained unprecedented image depth.
By constantly staring at the same portion of the sky, the VISTA telescope is slowly picking up measurements of the very dim light of the most distant galaxies, ESO officials said in a statement. The new photo picture shows a region of the sky known as the COSMOS field, which is located in the constellation of Sextans (The Sextant).
To create the image, researchers combined data from more than 6,000 separate images — totaling 55 hours of exposure time — as seen through five different color filters. The finished product is the deepest infrared view of the sky of its size ever taken, according to ESO officials. [See new photo of the COSMOS field]infrared light, distant galaxies, european southern observatory, Infrared Survey Telescope <BR/>