* Image assembled over 10 years of observations
* Shows galaxies formed 500 mln years after universe's birth
* Adds 5,500 galaxies to previous deep-field view
By Irene Klotz
Cape Canaveral, Fla., Sept 25 (Reuters) - Piecing together
10 years of Hubble Space Telescope images, astronomers on
Tuesday unveiled the deepest view yet of a small sliver of the
night sky, revealing a kaleidoscope of galaxies and other
The Hubble eXtreme Deep Field, or XDF, adds another 5,500
galaxies to Hubble's 2003 and 2004 view into a tiny patch of the
Hubble returned to the same target more than 50 times over
the past decade, racking up an additional 2 million seconds of
exposure time. The most distant objects found date back to about
500 million years after the universe's formation some 13.7
billion years ago.
The early universe was a violent place, filled with
colliding and merging galaxies that radiate in bright blue
light, a telltale sign of new star formation.
The Hubble portrait also shows brilliantly shining spiral
galaxies and older red fuzzy galaxies whose star-formation days
More than 2,000 images of the same field, taken by Hubble's
Advanced Camera for Surveys and its near-infrared Wide Field
Camera 3, were combined to form the XDF.
"XDF is the deepest image of the sky ever obtained,"
astronomer Garth Illingworth, with the University of California
at Santa Cruz, said in a statement. "It allows us to explore
further back in time than ever before.
(Editing by David Adams and Claudia Parsons)
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