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Hubble Deep Field South Unveils Myriad Galaxies.
A NASA Hubble Space Telescope view down a 12 billion light-year long
corridor of space loaded with a dazzling assortment of thousands of
never-before seen galaxies.
This picture is the culmination of a 10-day-long observation called the
Hubble Deep Field South (HDF-S) which was carried out in October 1998 by a
team of astronomers at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) and
the Goddard Space Flight Center. This new "far-look" complements the original Hubble "deep field" taken in
late 1995, when Hubble was aimed at a small patch of space near the Big
Dipper. The new region is in the constellation Tucana, near the south
Hubble's sharp vision allows astronomers to sort galaxy shapes. The image
is dominated by beautiful pinwheel-shaped disk galaxies, which are like our
Milky Way. The picture also contains a variety of peculiar-shaped galaxies
that are in collision with companion galaxies. Elliptical galaxies appear
as reddish blobs. A sprinkling of foreground stars (belonging to our Milky
Way) appear as bright points with "diffraction spikes" an artifact of all
The colors in the pictures are a natural representation of the galaxies'
stellar populations. Blue corresponds to young hot stars. Red may indicate
older stars, starlight scattered by dust, or very distant starlight that
has been stretched to redder wavelengths by the universe's expansion.
Follow-up observations with large ground-based telescopes in the southern
hemisphere will establish the distances to the galaxies. This will help
astronomers understand the history of the universe because the galaxies
represent the universe at different epochs, depending on their distances.
November 23, 1998
Credit: R. Williams (STScI), the HDF-S Team, and NASA