Back in 1995, which was surprisingly 23 years ago, astronomers decided to do something out of the norm and pointed the powerful Hubble Telescope toward a dark, seemingly empty region of the sky that would not normally be chosen for observation.
Any light that was captured by the photos would have to originate from galaxies, because it was about as far away from the glare produced by stars in our own Milky Way, that the light had to come from somewhere else.
They said it was a risky decision, because typically not much is found in these dark regions of the sky.
“Time on this telescope is expensive, with very long waiting lists of astronomers who want to use it,” as reported by Deep Astronomy.
The Hubble Space Telescope collected very faint, incredibly distant light from the tiny, tiny patch of apparently black space.
The result was astounding. It became known as one of the very most memorable observations in the history of the Hubble Telescope. It was at the time the deepest portrait ever taken of the Universe.
Thousands, and thousands of both nearby and distant galaxies were captured in this photo now known as the Hubble Deep Field. Only the tiniest fraction of a sample of the universe is present in this little portrait, but apparently this photo is important to some scientists because it provides an opportunity to look at young, fresh galaxies.
In the past two decades following this snapshot of the universe, astronomers have managed to construct new and even more detailed, and high definition images of our deepest possible view of the universe. This includes what they upgraded and titled the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, and even more recently, the XDF or eXtreme Deep Field.
The recent XDF images were first assembled in 2012, and contained within them are galaxies that were around when the universe was merely 800 million years old, if you believe the conclusions of all this research.
According to all this theory which can be tested for its validity if you really try, these extremely old, nearly 1 billion year old galaxies are very distant from us, and the dark patches of the sky sometimes are gateways to viewing very, very distant galaxies emitting very faint light.
According to this official theory, the Universe is about 13.8 billion years old.
This video is an extremely entertaining glimpse into the data taken by the Hubble Telescope.
On the other hand however, when you start to go into all of this, it’s extremely captivating and interesting but we’re really just taking the conclusions at face value.
To sift through all the evidence and for certain verify that it makes sense to theorize that the universe is about 13 billion years old for example, it would take a while. It’s unfortunate that it isn’t more easy to reason through all of that for ourselves, so ultimately people would be wise to take everything about outer space and things we cannot see firsthand with a grain of salt.