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Very Large Telescope Captures New 27-Megapixel Deep Field

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the awesome dept.

Space 131

xyz writes "European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope has captured the deepest ground based U-band image of the universe yet. The image contains more than 27 million pixels and is the result of 55 hours of observations with the VIMOS instrument. 'Galaxies were detected that are a billion times fainter than the unaided eye can see and over a range of colours not directly observable by the eye. This deep image has been essential to the discovery of a large number of new galaxies that are so far away that they are seen as they were when the Universe was only 2 billion years old.'"

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131 comments

Hmm... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25694231)

Oh my god. It's full of pixels!

Re:Hmm... (1)

Snaller (147050) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694785)

I'd mod you up if i could :)

Re:Hmm... (1)

Smivs (1197859) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695331)

Why? There's no point. See sig.

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25695829)

Maybe he meant that first post should be modded up for the sake of visibility?

It's not only about the karma, you know :P

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25697665)

Why? There's no point. See sig.

Funny mods have never earned any karma, so I'm afraid your "excellent" karma has nothing to do with your wit. This isn't a new development.

In fact, when you see posts that are clearly jokes modded "informative" or "insightful" that's because the moderator wanted the poster to get karma.

To be fair, the slashdot FAQ is right when they say that karma doesn't matter. The point of modding somebody up (especially an anonymous coward like the grandparent was going to mod up--who wasn't going to get any karma anyway) is to make sure other readers don't miss the post--it's very rare when I'm in the mood to read at -1...or even at 2. You should feel privileged that I read your post.

Basically, if you're not trolling, your karma will eventually be excellent, and as long as it's not too low to interfere with your posting, who cares about anything else? If you want something to bitch about, bitch about the fact that on articles with a large number of posts, you don't get to see all the posts unless you click the "more" button several times. Default should be load all (at least for registered users), and then the user should have the option in his preferences to limit the number of posts to speed up loading.

article image (-1, Redundant)

kimvette (919543) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694235)

I was expecting the article to not include a photo, which is so typical of stories covering notable events, where the author will go to great lengths in describing what makes the image great and then neglect to include a copy. It's almost like a strip tease, I guess.

But in this case, it's different. He discusses the high resolution and why it's so important to the field of astronomy, and an image is even included. However, it's a dinky low-resolution image one could have captured with a CCTV camera. Come on, you can do better than that. Couldn't you include at least a 100% crop inset if you won't fork up the full resolution image? Show us a small section of the photo at 100% resolution so we the reader can get an idea of what is visible in the photo. If I want to see a view like the one provided I'd grab a child's telescope from Toys R Us.

Re:article image (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25694259)

The second link provides a 78MB TIFF (and a more modest but same-resolution 30MB JPEG) image.

Re:article image (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694293)

Oh cool I didn't see those links

Re:article image (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25694347)

If you had clicked on the image in the article, you'd have been taken there automatically. Exactly what the hell is it that you were expecting? A full resolution image above the article text?

Re:article image (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25694673)

The standard cue for a clickable image is a 2-pixel-wide blue border around it. Why would they go through the pain of overriding the default but still make it clickable? It's just not practical to mouse over every image on every website to know if they're a link of not.

Re:article image (1)

GigaHurtsMyRobot (1143329) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695071)

Because that blue border is hideous and should always be overridden. They could have included a caption letting you know what clicking it would do, however.

Re:article image (1)

Q-Hack! (37846) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695509)

I don't know about your system, but with mine all I have to do is mouse over the pic to see the pointer change into a little hand. Tells me there is a link.

Re:article image (4, Informative)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694267)

However, it's a dinky low-resolution image one could have captured with a CCTV camera. Come on, you can do better than that.

I'm sorry, but what? The second link in the story has links to 6480 x 4236 JPGs and TIFs, which calculates to 27MP, the file sizes are 31MB and 79MB, respectively.

Normally, I would agree that web stories normally fall short with photos and multimedia, but it's just not true here.

Re:article image (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695215)

Is it just me or is that 76mb tif sadly lacking in quality? Looks like a lossy jpeg. Here's something off the cuff from my wallpapers folder, redstar [vftp.net] that has more detail and is under 1mb.

Re:article image (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25695503)

If an image is sharp, then you weren't pushing the limits of the instrument in the first place.

Re:article image (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696439)

Nothing looks lossy when you put it at 642x516 pixels like the tiny, tiny image you provided. Try it with any deep field photo. You can also take video game screens and make them thumbnail size, and they look real.

Re:article image (1)

simaolation (1381125) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695333)

Isn't the new Canon Eos dSLR capable of producing 22MP pictures? I'm sorry, bu only gigapixels impress me these days. http://www.gigapxl.org/gallery.htm [gigapxl.org]

Re:article image (1)

PingPongBoy (303994) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696359)

6480 x 4236

Almost as big as my little 14" CRT at 6400 x 4800 running on the old 386. With the tendency for screens to get wider, an aspect ratio of 6400 x 4200 scales nicely from 1600 x 1050 so we can see this picture nicely on an 8 ft monitor. About the same size as the screen in the USS Enterprise?

If you look closely, there's a little banner in the galaxy 342-HITHR that says "Happy 2000000000th! In 9000000000 years, there will be intelligence that will know what this amount of time means."

Re:article image (1)

mathimus1863 (1120437) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696627)

I'm mildly bothered by the 27 megapixel metric, as it tells you nothing about the scope of the image. I can take a 10 MP picture of the sky with my digital camera and half those pixels will be wasted on the trees around me, and the rest won't give us any new information that anyone else can't get. It would be interesting to know the solid angle, or the field-of-view measurement that is associated with the image. If you are taking a 5000x5000 picture of something 1 light year across, from 10 billion light years away, that requires a hell of a tiny field of view. Approximately 100 picoradians of resolution. If you have that type of resolution, the picture could only be 5 megapixels and probably still contain a plethora of interesting stuff.

Re:article image (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 5 years ago | (#25697659)

It's a nice stress test for your browser. I can remember the days when Firefox would crash trying to load such a JPG.

Re:article image (1)

onlysolution (941392) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694285)

Did you perhaps neglect to click on the thumbnail in the article? Or even click the second link the summary? The 6480 x 4239 full resolution image is readily available as a JPEG and a TIFF.

Re:article image (1)

Lachlan Hunt (1021263) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694377)

I'm guessing you missed the link that was included [eso.org] in both the slashdot summary and the article!

Shortages? (4, Insightful)

jrq (119773) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694241)

Hard to believe, looking at this, that there could ever be a shortage of anything.

Re:Shortages? (3, Insightful)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694361)

The problem being, how do we get it where we need it, in time.

Time (4, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694541)

Shortage of time.

And here I am wasting it on Slashdot :).

Re:Shortages? (2, Insightful)

Mister Liberty (769145) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694577)

Hard to believe, looking at this, that there could ever be a shortage of anything.

It's the same principle as ever, when awestruck in the face of beauty: "you can look, but you cannot touch".

That thought process... (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694909)

Hard to believe, looking at this, that there could ever be a shortage of anything.

It's exactly that thought process which leads to running out of (or destroying) resources.

That's what they said on Easter Island... (2, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695471)

And that's what most of the world is saying today.

80 MB TIFF (3, Insightful)

owlstead (636356) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694253)

Seriously, Slashdot, pointing to an article that contains a link to the 80 MB TIFF image at full resolution. Feeling a bit sadistic today, are we? Oh well, I'm rather early so I clicked it nonetheless. Feeling like a bit of a egocentric sadist myself today.

It works without a hitch in the AlternaTIFF TIFF Image Viewer. You can clearly see the galaxies, but otherwise it is a large sheet of colored dots (as expected I suppose).

Re:80 MB TIFF (3, Interesting)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694431)

don't feel sorry for them... feel sorry for the poor schmucks that actually CLICK on the image link and expect their browser to render it before the wheels grind to a halt.

Re:80 MB TIFF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25694765)

The fullres JPG works like a charm in Firefox 1.5. The image probably takes 4239*6480*3 = 82 MB uncompressed in the browser, but who doesn't have that much free RAM.

Re:80 MB TIFF (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696463)

I've only got 640k RAM, you intransitive clod!

Re:80 MB TIFF (1)

Agripa (139780) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696979)

Seriously, Slashdot, pointing to an article that contains a link to the 80 MB TIFF image at full resolution. Feeling a bit sadistic today, are we? Oh well, I'm rather early so I clicked it nonetheless. Feeling like a bit of a egocentric sadist myself today.

At least it would explain the flash located near Munich, Germany.

Guide To The Barack Obongo Presidency (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25694257)

Congratulations on your purchase of a brand new nigger! If handled properly, your apeman will give years of valuable, if reluctant, service.

INSTALLING YOUR NIGGER.
You should install your nigger differently according to whether you have purchased the field or house model. Field niggers work best in a serial configuration, i.e. chained together. Chain your nigger to another nigger immediately after unpacking it, and don't even think about taking that chain off, ever. Many niggers start singing as soon as you put a chain on them. This habit can usually be thrashed out of them if nipped in the bud. House niggers work best as standalone units, but should be hobbled or hamstrung to prevent attempts at escape. At this stage, your nigger can also be given a name. Most owners use the same names over and over, since niggers become confused by too much data. Rufus, Rastus, Remus, Toby, Carslisle, Carlton, Hey-You!-Yes-you!, Yeller, Blackstar, and Sambo are all effective names for your new buck nigger. If your nigger is a ho, it should be called Latrelle, L'Tanya, or Jemima. Some owners call their nigger hoes Latrine for a joke. Pearl, Blossom, and Ivory are also righteous names for nigger hoes. These names go straight over your nigger's head, by the way.

CONFIGURING YOUR NIGGER
Owing to a design error, your nigger comes equipped with a tongue and vocal chords. Most niggers can master only a few basic human phrases with this apparatus - "muh dick" being the most popular. However, others make barking, yelping, yapping noises and appear to be in some pain, so you should probably call a vet and have him remove your nigger's tongue. Once de-tongued your nigger will be a lot happier - at least, you won't hear it complaining anywhere near as much. Niggers have nothing interesting to say, anyway. Many owners also castrate their niggers for health reasons (yours, mine, and that of women, not the nigger's). This is strongly recommended, and frankly, it's a mystery why this is not done on the boat

HOUSING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger can be accommodated in cages with stout iron bars. Make sure, however, that the bars are wide enough to push pieces of nigger food through. The rule of thumb is, four niggers per square yard of cage. So a fifteen foot by thirty foot nigger cage can accommodate two hundred niggers. You can site a nigger cage anywhere, even on soft ground. Don't worry about your nigger fashioning makeshift shovels out of odd pieces of wood and digging an escape tunnel under the bars of the cage. Niggers never invented the shovel before and they're not about to now. In any case, your nigger is certainly too lazy to attempt escape. As long as the free food holds out, your nigger is living better than it did in Africa, so it will stay put. Buck niggers and hoe niggers can be safely accommodated in the same cage, as bucks never attempt sex with black hoes.

FEEDING YOUR NIGGER.
Your Nigger likes fried chicken, corn bread, and watermelon. You should therefore give it none of these things because its lazy ass almost certainly doesn't deserve it. Instead, feed it on porridge with salt, and creek water. Your nigger will supplement its diet with whatever it finds in the fields, other niggers, etc. Experienced nigger owners sometimes push watermelon slices through the bars of the nigger cage at the end of the day as a treat, but only if all niggers have worked well and nothing has been stolen that day. Mike of the Old Ranch Plantation reports that this last one is a killer, since all niggers steal something almost every single day of their lives. He reports he doesn't have to spend much on free watermelon for his niggers as a result. You should never allow your nigger meal breaks while at work, since if it stops work for more than ten minutes it will need to be retrained. You would be surprised how long it takes to teach a nigger to pick cotton. You really would. Coffee beans? Don't ask. You have no idea.

MAKING YOUR NIGGER WORK.
Niggers are very, very averse to work of any kind. The nigger's most prominent anatomical feature, after all, its oversized buttocks, which have evolved to make it more comfortable for your nigger to sit around all day doing nothing for its entire life. Niggers are often good runners, too, to enable them to sprint quickly in the opposite direction if they see work heading their way. The solution to this is to *dupe* your nigger into working. After installation, encourage it towards the cotton field with blows of a wooden club, fence post, baseball bat, etc., and then tell it that all that cotton belongs to a white man, who won't be back until tomorrow. Your nigger will then frantically compete with the other field niggers to steal as much of that cotton as it can before the white man returns. At the end of the day, return your nigger to its cage and laugh at its stupidity, then repeat the same trick every day indefinitely. Your nigger comes equipped with the standard nigger IQ of 75 and a memory to match, so it will forget this trick overnight. Niggers can start work at around 5am. You should then return to bed and come back at around 10am. Your niggers can then work through until around 10pm or whenever the light fades.

ENTERTAINING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger enjoys play, like most animals, so you should play with it regularly. A happy smiling nigger works best. Games niggers enjoy include: 1) A good thrashing: every few days, take your nigger's pants down, hang it up by its heels, and have some of your other niggers thrash it with a club or whip. Your nigger will signal its intense enjoyment by shrieking and sobbing. 2) Lynch the nigger: niggers are cheap and there are millions more where yours came from. So every now and then, push the boat out a bit and lynch a nigger.

Lynchings are best done with a rope over the branch of a tree, and niggers just love to be lynched. It makes them feel special. Make your other niggers watch. They'll be so grateful, they'll work harder for a day or two (and then you can lynch another one). 3) Nigger dragging: Tie your nigger by one wrist to the tow bar on the back of suitable vehicle, then drive away at approximately 50mph. Your nigger's shrieks of enjoyment will be heard for miles. It will shriek until it falls apart. To prolong the fun for the nigger, do *NOT* drag him by his feet, as his head comes off too soon. This is painless for the nigger, but spoils the fun. Always wear a seatbelt and never exceed the speed limit. 4) Playing on the PNL: a variation on (2), except you can lynch your nigger out in the fields, thus saving work time. Niggers enjoy this game best if the PNL is operated by a man in a tall white hood. 5) Hunt the nigger: a variation of Hunt the Slipper, but played outdoors, with Dobermans. WARNING: do not let your Dobermans bite a nigger, as they are highly toxic.

DISPOSAL OF DEAD NIGGERS.
Niggers die on average at around 40, which some might say is 40 years too late, but there you go. Most people prefer their niggers dead, in fact. When yours dies, report the license number of the car that did the drive-by shooting of your nigger. The police will collect the nigger and dispose of it for you.

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH NIGGERS - MY NIGGER IS VERY AGGRESIVE
Have it put down, for god's sake. Who needs an uppity nigger? What are we, short of niggers or something?

MY NIGGER KEEPS RAPING WHITE WOMEN
They all do this. Shorten your nigger's chain so it can't reach any white women, and arm heavily any white women who might go near it.

WILL MY NIGGER ATTACK ME?
Not unless it outnumbers you 20 to 1, and even then, it's not likely. If niggers successfully overthrew their owners, they'd have to sort out their own food. This is probably why nigger uprisings were nonexistent (until some fool gave them rights).

MY NIGGER bitches ABOUT ITS "RIGHTS" AND "RACISM".
Yeah, well, it would. Tell it to shut the fuck up.

MY NIGGER'S HIDE IS A FUNNY COLOR. - WHAT IS THE CORRECT SHADE FOR A NIGGER?
A nigger's skin is actually more or less transparent. That brown color you can see is the shit your nigger is full of. This is why some models of nigger are sold as "The Shitskin".

MY NIGGER ACTS LIKE A NIGGER, BUT IS WHITE.
What you have there is a "wigger". Rough crowd. WOW!

IS THAT LIKE AN ALBINO? ARE THEY RARE?
They're as common as dog shit and about as valuable. In fact, one of them was President between 1992 and 2000. Put your wigger in a cage with a few hundred genuine niggers and you'll soon find it stops acting like a nigger. However, leave it in the cage and let the niggers dispose of it. The best thing for any wigger is a dose of TNB.

MY NIGGER SMELLS REALLY BAD
And you were expecting what?

SHOULD I STORE MY DEAD NIGGER?
When you came in here, did you see a sign that said "Dead nigger storage"? .That's because there ain't no goddamn sign.

Re:Guide To The Barack Obongo Presidency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25696405)

Q: What's worse than a racist?

A: A racist with too damned much time on their hands.
   

Fantastic (2, Insightful)

Skiron (735617) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694275)

The mind boggles. How anybody can believe we are here all alone, I don't know.

Re:Fantastic (-1, Flamebait)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694379)

I'm afraid that the people who do have a much limited knowledge of the universe around them. And by 'universe around them' I mean 'whatever the fuck's outside the 3 American states they've ever visited'.

Re:Fantastic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25695985)

If you believe life can spring up anywhere as complex as it exists on Earth then, yes, life can be elsewhere. But life doesn't just spring up from anywhere. You have to be ignorant if you think that the complexity that surrounds and inhabits this planet can be replicated by accident elsewhere, multiple times. Evolution itself has the odds against it and yet you think it can happen again (assuming it occurred once already)? Now my mind is boggled at your assumptions that complex life can occur at random. And by the way, we aren't alone. There are 6 billion people on this planet.

Re:Fantastic (1)

Skiron (735617) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696267)

Oh dear. Billions of galaxies containing billions of stars that probably have planets. You sir, are a TWAT.

Re:Fantastic (1)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696273)

And this is why I believe light pollution is a conspiracy to make the universe appear smaller than it really is in order to make the public more likely to accept the idea that it couldn't be random chance that any of us are here to begin with.

looking 'out there' ignoring here & now (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25694287)

there is nowhere left to hide.

greed, fear & ego (in any order) are unprecedented evile's primary weapons. those, along with deception & coercion, helps most of us remain (unwittingly?) dependent on its' life0cidal hired goons' agenda. most of yOUR dwindling resources are being squandered on the 'wars', & continuation of the billionerrors stock markup FraUD/pyramid schemes. nobody ever mentions the real long term costs of those debacles in both life & any notion of prosperity for us, or our children. not to mention the abuse of the consciences of those of us who still have one. see you on the other side of it. the lights are coming up all over now. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. we now have some choices. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

we note that yahoo deletes some of its' (relevant) stories sooner than others. maybe they're short of disk space, or something?
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081106/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/meltdown_who_pays;_ylt=A2KIR3MR9hJJ3YkAGhms0NUE
http://news.google.com/?ncl=1216734813&hl=en&topic=n
http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/09/23/what.matters.thirst/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A
(deleted)http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080918/ap_on_re_us/tent_cities;_ylt=A0wNcyS6yNJIZBoBSxKs0NUE
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/29/world/29amnesty.html?hp
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/06/02/nasa.global.warming.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/05/severe.weather.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/02/honore.preparedness/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/09/28/what.matters.meltdown/index.html#cnnSTCText
http://www.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/books/10/07/atwood.debt/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/opinion/01dowd.html?em&ex=1212638400&en=744b7cebc86723e5&ei=5087%0A
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/06/05/senate.iraq/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/17/washington/17contractor.html?hp
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/03/world/middleeast/03kurdistan.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
(deleted, still in google cache)http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080708/cheney_climate.html
http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20080805/pl_politico/12308;_ylt=A0wNcxTPdJhILAYAVQms0NUE
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081107/ts_alt_afp/environmentclimatewarmingatlantic_081107145344
(deleted)http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080903/ts_nm/environment_arctic_dc;_ylt=A0wNcwhhcb5It3EBoy2s0NUE
(talk about cowardlly race fixing/bad theater/fiction?) http://money.cnn.com/2008/09/19/news/economy/sec_short_selling/index.htm?cnn=yes
http://us.lrd.yahoo.com/_ylt=ApTbxRfLnscxaGGuCocWlwq7YWsA/SIG=11qicue6l/**http%3A//biz.yahoo.com/ap/081006/meltdown_kashkari.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/04/opinion/04sat1.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
(the teaching of hate as a way of 'life' synonymous with failed dictatorships) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081004/ap_on_re_us/newspapers_islam_dvd;_ylt=A0wNcwWdfudITHkACAus0NUE
(some yoga & yogurt makes killing/getting killed less stressful) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081007/ap_on_re_us/warrior_mind;_ylt=A0wNcw9iXutIPkMBwzGs0NUE
(the old bait & switch...your share of the resulting 'product' is a fairytail nightmare?)
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081011/ap_on_bi_ge/where_s_the_money;_ylt=A0wNcwJGwvFIZAQAE6ms0NUE

  it's time to get real now. A LOT of energy/resource has been squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, many of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're still in.

http://www.carnicom.com/ (yikes almighty)
http://weatherwars.info/
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=weather+manipulation&btnG=Search
http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying

'The current rate of extinction is around 10 to 100 times the usual background level, and has been elevated above the background level since the Pleistocene. The current extinction rate is more rapid than in any other extinction event in earth history, and 50% of species could be extinct by the end of this century. While the role of humans is unclear in the longer-term extinction pattern, it is clear that factors such as deforestation, habitat destruction, hunting, the introduction of non-native species, pollution and climate change have reduced biodiversity profoundly.' (wiki)

"I think the bottom line is, what kind of a world do you want to leave for your children," Andrew Smith, a professor in the Arizona State University School of Life Sciences, said in a telephone interview. "How impoverished we would be if we lost 25 percent of the world's mammals," said Smith, one of more than 100 co-authors of the report. "Within our lifetime hundreds of species could be lost as a result of our own actions, a frightening sign of what is happening to the ecosystems where they live," added Julia Marton-Lefevre, IUCN director general. "We must now set clear targets for the future to reverse this trend to ensure that our enduring legacy is not to wipe out many of our closest relatives."

"The wealth of the universe is for me. Every thing is explicable and practical for me .... I am defeated all the time; yet to victory I am born." --emerson
consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."--chronicles

Re:looking 'out there' ignoring here & now (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694391)

My suggestion to the Slashdot administrators : add "yOUR" to your lameness filter. Problem solved.

Re:looking 'out there' ignoring here & now (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695831)

How about just filtering any post that uses a lot of big words yet has indications of brain damage like abbreviating every other "and" to "&" (or "you" to "u")?

Strings of galaxies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25694371)

Looking at the images, anyone else see all the galaxies that are in stringy lines, like semen floating around in your bath water?

Re:Strings of galaxies (1, Offtopic)

Pogue Mahone (265053) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694783)

I wouldn't know - I never take a bath.

Context vs Hubble Deep Field (4, Interesting)

chanrobi (944359) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694387)

This new "picture" is taken in UV for which the Hubble ultra deep field [wikipedia.org] is still the deepest image taken in visible wavelengths. Which provides, if you believe the current age estimate of the universe (13.73 ± 0.12 billion years old) means Hubble is still going back further. 0.73 Billion years vs 2 billion years since the beginning of the universe.

Just to give a sense of perspective in case you read the title and went so what?

Re:Context vs Hubble Deep Field (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694485)

Maybe so, but the Hubble is an ST and as I understand that's Space based, not ground based.

Re:Context vs Hubble Deep Field (0)

raynet (51803) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694501)

Also this 27Mpix image is very blurry, they could probably taken it at 10Mpix and still have the same amount of information.

Re:Context vs Hubble Deep Field (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25694567)

No. Correctly sampling the PSF is important.

Re:Context vs Hubble Deep Field (1)

Prof Dodecahedron (1233766) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696397)

Something I've always wondered is that since we supposedly know how far the farthest recorded star is, and supposedly know the age of the universe, how fast are we moving away from the farthest star? And how fast are we moving relative to the source of the big bang? If there's 10 lightyears from us to that star, the most conservative guess (the slowest speed) would put the big bang starting directly between us and the other star, putting the big bang somewhere else would mean we're moving faster. Does anyone know how to do the math to calculate either of these? I know its definitely not 10 billion ly / 14 bln y, we'd have to take in to account relativistic speeds, and the movement of the light from the other star, etc. It seems like we must really be moving pretty damn fast away from the other star if we're seeing it in the position it was 2 billion years after the big bang, and the light from there to here traveled 10 billion lightyears.

countless life factories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25694495)

This is my new favorite image. Thank you ESO and the VLT staff.

Sales people trick us into MORE MEGAPIXELS (1)

nulled (1169845) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694507)

Don't let them trick you into thinking you need MORE megapixels. It's all a feature bloat trick, sales people love to use to make the devices more expensive. No really, I love the deep field/space research. Amazing imagines. I thought Hubble was broken again? I guess they fixed it.

Only 27 megapixels? (1)

tmosley (996283) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694509)

Maybe I missed something, but how is this impressive?

Considering that there are commercial cameras [wired.com] on the market that have resolutions of 50+ megapixels for "just" $40,000 (not much for professional scientists or astronomers). It seems like a fairly simple thing to modify for use in the UV spectrum (maybe that's the part we are supposed to be impressed with?).

Perhaps they meant gigapixels?

Re:Only 27 megapixels? (2, Insightful)

Mprx (82435) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694555)

The optics are the limiting factor here. Increasing pixel count wouldn't add any more detail.

Re:Only 27 megapixels? (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695507)

then one has to wonder why they bothered mentioning it...is there no way to measure the capability of optics, if that is what is important?

Call me cynical (-1, Redundant)

Goodgerster (904325) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694547)

But won't this resolution be matched by mobile phone cameras in about ten minutes?

Filament-like structures (1)

art6217 (757847) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694557)

I know a man can see various things in a random set of dots that are not really there, but what about these `filaments' of galaxies?
What are these?

Re:Filament-like structures (2, Informative)

daryl_and_daryl (1005065) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694609)

I see a duckie
and a vase
and a cow rendered in an obscure encryption method

Re:Filament-like structures (2, Interesting)

art6217 (757847) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694657)

You may have a better vision. I can only see the cow.

Statistical significance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25694939)

Looking at the full-res picture I was thinking how one could test for the statistical significance of the apparent `filaments'.

Some of these seem quite amazing, stretching and bending for quite some distance.

Naw, not big enough (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25694565)

still can't use this as my desktop background without tiling.

How much area does this cover? (4, Interesting)

superid (46543) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694569)

Yeah, I know..... a lot....

What I mean is, if I look up in the sky, how big of a patch of the sky does this picture cover? The size of the full moon? Bigger? Smaller than a grain of sand at arms length?

Re:How much area does this cover? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25694719)

It's about the size of... 100,000 emails a month.

Re:How much area does this cover? (4, Informative)

Falkkin (97268) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694801)

The image is 14.1 x 26.1 arcminutes according to ESO website. For reference, the moon is about 30 arcminutes.

Re:How much area does this cover? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25694839)

The Hubble deep field was said to cover the same area as Roosevelt's eye on a dime held at arms length.

When they take these images, they point to a spot in the sky that has no stars visible and then let the exposure take a gazillion seconds. Assuming all the stars in the Milky way are visible (might be a bad assumption), that would mean a spot in the sky without stars could only contain galaxies.

What this means, is that everything in the picture is a galaxy, not a star.

At least the famous Hubble deep field picture was. This one there are some point light sources that have some optical aberrations that make them look like stars.

Re:How much area does this cover? (1)

Tinlad (947666) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694851)

According to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] , the VIMOS has a 14 x 14 arcminute field of view. If my Sunday afternoon trigonometry is correct, that's equivalent to a 3mm square held at arm's length (~70cm). Under half the diameter of the full moon. Hope that helps to put it into context - it's a tiny area of the sky.

Re:How much area does this cover? (1)

viruswatts (1039928) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694961)

If my Sunday afternoon trigonometry is correct, that's equivalent to a 3mm square held at arm's length (~70cm). Under half the diameter of the full moon. Hope that helps to put it into context - it's a tiny area of the sky.

I don't know about you, but if I held 3 mm up at arms length, it isn't going to come close to covering the moon. Perhaps you meant 3 cm.

Re:How much area does this cover? (4, Informative)

Tinlad (947666) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695209)

I think you, like a lot of people, have wildly overestimated the angular diameter of the full moon. It's about 30 arcminutes (0.5 degrees). It's a lot smaller than you think. It's one of the first things we were told in my astrophysics lectures, and it's stuck with me.

An angle of 0.5 degrees at arms length (~70cm) gives you approximately 70cm * tan(0.5 degrees) = 6.1mm (i.e. a circle of paper 6.1mm in diameter held 70cm from your eye would 'cover' the full moon). Try it.

3cm at arms length equates to an angle of about 2.5 degrees.

Re:How much area does this cover? (2, Interesting)

YttriumOxide (837412) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696237)

I just tried it by holding a ruler at arms length up at the moon. The moon isn't quite full tonight, but it's pretty close, so I can guesstimate where the rest of it is from the curvature of what's there.
I found the moon to be about 1.2cm with the ruler held at arms length - about twice what you're suggesting. Perhaps I have very short arms?

I don't dispute your maths, but I would like to know where the discrepancy in my experimental evidence is coming from...

Re:How much area does this cover? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25696419)

From wiki: "The average centre-to-centre distance from the Earth to the Moon is 384,403 km, about thirty times the diameter of the Earth. The Moon's diameter is 3,474 km"

Roughly 1 in 100. So at 70 cm the moon would appear .7 cm.

I would check the measurement on your arm.

Re:How much area does this cover? (1)

Tinlad (947666) | more than 5 years ago | (#25697091)

Atmospheric lensing? I haven't a clue to be honest. Where I live the moon's just peeked out from behind the clouds so I gave it a go - it was about 6 or 7mm, so my observations seem to fit the theory.

Re:How much area does this cover? (1)

Kleen13 (1006327) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695569)

Bah, bad click, meant Informative

Wallpaper (1)

f1vlad (1253784) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694731)

Nice time for new wallpaper on my laptop :)

Google Maps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25694745)

Can someone throw together a google maps mashup?

Re:Google Maps (2, Informative)

Kagura (843695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696509)

Use Google Earth, and click the "sky" button. It's like Google Earth, but for the sky. Many different sources are mosaic-ed into it, and you can see how big some of these cosmic objects are from our vantage point, such as how much of an area of the sky this Deep Field image took in.

"Very Large Telescope" (4, Funny)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694761)

Excellent name - simple and straightforward. They should have a contest for naming the next model. Put me down for "Amazing Freaking Ginormous Wonderscope"

Re:"Very Large Telescope" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25694979)

Almost. Next generation telescope is "ELT", short for "Extremely Large Telescope".
http://www.eso.org/sci/facilities/eelt/

Re:"Very Large Telescope" (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695541)

At least they didn't follow the Wisker's cat food advert and call it the 'largest *ever* telescope'.

Yeah, short-sighted names bug me too.

Re:"Very Large Telescope" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25696971)

doublepluslarge telescope? although I doubt Ingsoc would have any use for it...

Coverage by Bad Astronomer here (4, Informative)

Falkkin (97268) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694773)

Phil Plait has quite a bit to say about this image:

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2008/11/07/voyaging-deep-into-the-universe/ [discovermagazine.com]

"Scanning the full-res image is incredible. There's so much to see! Each dot, each smudge, is a full-blown galaxy, a collection of billions of stars. They're very, very far away; some of these galaxies are estimated to be 10 billion light years distant; you're seeing them as they were just a couple of billion years after the Universe itself began, and the faintest are one-billionth as bright as objects you can see with your own eye."

He also talks quite a bit about his favorite astronomical event - gamma-ray bursts.

Re:Coverage by Bad Astronomer here (1)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695155)

It's another excellent analysis by Phil, suitable for all audiences - I shall give that to the wife, I think there's a sporting chance of her actually understanding what is going on (normally keen to show an interest in astronomy but can never fathom out even the basic concepts)

Re:Coverage by Bad Astronomer here (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695277)

So we're just a motion-capture system away from the Total Perspective Vortex...

Re:Coverage by Bad Astronomer here (2, Informative)

Falkkin (97268) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695455)

Actually, for perspective, this image is approximately 1/500000th of the sky.

Billion times nothing is..... (1)

need4mospd (1146215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694789)

Galaxies were detected that are a billion times fainter than the unaided eye can see...

What's a billion times "I can't see shit?"

According to my calculations (3, Interesting)

dvh.tosomja (1235032) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694817)

I count galaxies in 1/8 x 1/14 of that image to be 150. In the whole image there are approx. 16800 galaxies. Since this is 14x21 arcminutes and 1 degree is 60minutes, hence this is 0.3 degree of 360 degree sky, I thinkg there are... 6.752*10^9 galaxies in the visible universe!

Re:According to my calculations (1)

YttriumOxide (837412) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696367)

And, with an average of 40 billion stars in a galaxy (it is conjectured that there are some very small galaxies, making the average much smaller than our own Milky Way), that makes 2.7008*10^20 stars... Ummm... woah.

errors in the calculations, and fixes: (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25697817)

Some corrections, because the GP confused linear and solid angles:

14 linear arcminutes * 21 linear arcminutes = 294 sqare arcminutes

1 square degree = (60 linear arcminutes)^2 = 3600 sqare arcminutes

294 square arcminutes / 3600 sqare arcminutes ~= .08167 square degrees

there are ~41253 square degrees in a sphere, only this fraction of a sphere is subtended by the picture:

(294 square arcminutes) / (41253 square degrees) ~= 1.980*10^-6

As someone stated elsewhere, this is about 1/500,000 of the sky (i.e. the celestial sphere).

So we count the number of galaxies encountered in this secion, then divide by the fraction subtended; using GP's estimate:

16,800 / (1.980*10^-6) gives ~8.49*10^9 galaxies

However, about 2 orders of magnitude more galaxies are in the field, though only ~16,800 galaxies are detected in this particular image of the field. The number of galaxies in the *observable* universe is at least on the order of 100 billion (10^11), per other, more sensitive surveys with more rigorous counting methods than a quick subsampling as performed by a human examining an image visually.

Next:

...with an average of 40 billion stars in a galaxy...

This is lower than I've encountered. The average galactic mass is about 100 billion solar masses, and the average stellar mass is about .5 solar masses*, so the the average number of stars in a galaxy is is on the order of 100~200 billion.

...it is conjectured that there are some very small galaxies, making the average much smaller than our own Milky Way...

Actually, it is fairly well established that there are indeed many such "small" galaxies. But though the number of "extremely large" (trillions to tens of trillions, versus hundred billions for the Milky Way) galaxies is small, the contribution to the mean ("average") number of stars per galaxy is disproportionately large because they themselves are disproportionately large. This is the nature of the arithmetic mean: a few highly weighted outliers skew the mean more than the median, and the median more than the mode. That's precisely why the "average" number of stars per galaxy is actually on the order of the Milky Way.

(* Note that the "average" stellar mass is skewed upward by the few but extremely massive stars just as galactic mass is. A "typical" star is smaller than the .5-solar mass "average" star; the vast majority of stars are smallish red dwarfs, with the sun being more massive than at least ~90% of stars, if only by a little in the range of stellar masses from ~.04 to ~150.)

So:
~(10^11 galaxies) * ~(10^11 stars/galaxy) = ~10^22 stars
The highest *reasonable* estimates I've seen yield a little over 5*10^22 stars, so on the order of 10^23 stars is still conceivable.

Determined nominatively? (2, Interesting)

Pogue Mahone (265053) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694819)

Did anyone notice the name of the press officer?

Dr. Henri Boffin.

Nominative determinism [wikipedia.org] in action.

Re:Determined nominatively? (5, Funny)

URADingus2 (908555) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695379)

Many Boffins died to bring us this information

27 Megapixel ? (1)

sunfly (1248694) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694929)

27 megapixels is almost consumer grade today. Why so low?

Re:27 Megapixel ? (1)

viruswatts (1039928) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694995)

27 megapixels is almost consumer grade today. Why so low?

They knew we would Slashdot 270 megapixels into oblivion.

Torrent of image (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25695323)

If you want to do the owner of the website a favor, go to TPB and search for this image if you need/want it in full size, i suppose this will cause less traffic for them.

(I assume that it is something like public domain anyway)

What SOME may see... (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695815)

Picture-perfect Crystalline Entity in that "Fistful of Data". But, i somehow think we are still quite a way from a lateral sensor array...

Star photo (1)

melikamp (631205) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695863)

Why do star photos have crosses over bigger stars?

Re:Star photo (2, Informative)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696337)

Why do star photos have crosses over bigger stars?

Refraction flares caused by the crystalline pattern of molecules in the glass of the lenses. It only shows up in brighter objects because the flares are too dim for dimmer objects to make an impression. Bright stars simply overwhelm the local optics when you are gathering enough light to expose the dimmer objects.
     

Re:Star photo (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25696519)

Great explanation, thanks a lot!

Re:Star photo (3, Informative)

Ian Paul Freeley (1353601) | more than 5 years ago | (#25697191)

Why do star photos have crosses over bigger stars?

Refraction flares caused by the crystalline pattern of molecules in the glass of the lenses.

Um, no. The spikes are caused by the diffraction of light around the struts supporting the secondary mirror in the telescope. The wave nature of light ensures that no matter how large you build your telescope, you cannot focues stars to a perfect point.

Re:Star photo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25697595)

Jesus.

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