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The Deepest Picture of the Universe Ever Taken: the Hubble Extreme Deep Field

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the do-the-dew dept.

Space 185

The Bad Astronomer writes "Astronomers have unveiled what may be the deepest image of the Universe ever created: the Hubble Extreme Deep Field, a 2 million second exposure that reveals galaxies over 13 billion light years away. The faintest galaxies in the images are at magnitude 31, or one-ten-billionth as bright as the faintest object your naked eye can detect. Some are seen as they were when they were only 500 million years old."

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Hard to imagine the vastness (5, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#41454601)

Ok, I officially feel small now.

I'm not sure whether to be more impressed by:
  1) the scale of the universe itself
  2) the ability of some insignificant bags of protoplasm on an insignificant planet near a run of the mill star, in a less than impressive galaxy could find a way to actually see that far
  3) the fact that they held the camera that steady for 2 million seconds (23 days)
  4) That the camera moved 36 million miles during those 23 days and it didn't make any difference in the final image.

But other than that, the image looks exactly like a gazillion other images from Hubble, so one has to take it on faith that it is what it says it is.

Re:Hard to imagine the vastness (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41454689)

Note that the final image is actually made up of 2,000 images, so each exposure was (presumably) only 1,000 seconds long. Regardless, it's impressive that they were able to take a couple thousand 16+ minute exposures and create such a beautiful image.

Re:Hard to imagine the vastness (4, Insightful)

N0Man74 (1620447) | about 2 years ago | (#41454717)

4) That the camera moved 36 million miles during those 23 days and it didn't make any difference in the final image.

But other than that, the image looks exactly like a gazillion other images from Hubble, so one has to take it on faith that it is what it says it is.

IANAA, but it is that it is all relative. My gut feeling says that moving 36 million miles is still fairly still in the scale of the universe. Don't get me wrong, I'm still very impressed.

Re:Hard to imagine the vastness (3, Funny)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#41454967)

IANAA, but it is that it is all relative.

Exactly.

Re:Hard to imagine the vastness (1)

N0Man74 (1620447) | about 2 years ago | (#41455201)

LOL... Oops, apparently I forgot to proofread after I removed a phrase from that sentence.

Re:Hard to imagine the vastness (5, Funny)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#41454769)

Ok, I officially feel small now.

so..... can we have your liver, then?

Re:Hard to imagine the vastness (3, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 2 years ago | (#41454827)

Also consider that this image shows 5,500 or so galaxies in a tiny fraction of the sky. There are something like 100 billion galaxies in the known Universe and trillions upon trillions of stars (cue Carl Sagan). I'd say life on another planet isn't just a possibility, but a statistical certainty. Of course, finding/reaching/communicating with that life might be another matter entirely.

Re:Hard to imagine the vastness (5, Interesting)

Matheus (586080) | about 2 years ago | (#41455183)

I was pondering on this recently and was thinking the following:

1) Light travels at that good ole' speed it does.

2) Scientists continually marvel at the fact they are seeing the universe far away the way it was millions or billions of years ago.

3) I never hear them comment on the fact what they are seeing has changed as much as our near universe in all of that time.

SO... what's to say we're not looking at the beginnings of literally millions (+?) of civilizations that in a few million years would look to the Hubble like we do now from up close?

Astronomers spend SO much of their time looking at light-speed forced history that I feel a certain slight is paid to what the present truly may be. The universe may be absolutely teaming with life that we won't be able to even see the beginnings of in ours or even our great-great-great-great-...........-great-great-grandchildren's lifetimes.

Anyway... back to pondering...

Re:Hard to imagine the vastness (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41456225)

I know, right? I was thinking about this too.

I think we need something that allows us to transfer matter from one place to another, faster than light. Of course you'd probably need a kind of modem like this on both sides. And perhaps someone has already developed something like this, long ago. We could just call them, "modem builders", for the sake of discussion. But modem is a muddy term, let's just call them "gates", through which you could send a robot or perhaps even walk. I guess we'd have to be careful that there weren't harmful species or planetary conditions on the other side first, so naturally they'd have to be somewhat bidirectional. I imagine any existing tech like that would have considered the issue, though.

But maybe that's too complicated, and it does depend on another species. So perhaps we should just focus on mastering travel at faster than light speeds, ourselves. It's going to take quite a bit of energy, so we'll need an exotic new power source. We could even put that technology on a liveable habitat, a bit like the space shuttle. Sure, we could start with small rockets for testing, but later we'll have to go bigger because we'll be talking about much longer, more involved missions. We'll probably need other things too, like a way to communicate with any new species we would meet and an efficient means of visiting remote planet surfaces as we find them. I mean, what's the point of going if we're not going to check things out, right? It might not be a bad idea to put some armaments on the thing too, that would work well in space. I mean, I'm thinking more of an exploratory vessel than a military one, but one should "Be Prepared", and all that.

Like you were saying, people just don't really seem to think or talk about this potential for distant civilizations that we can't see through our telescopes. I guess our species just lacks imagination. It's sad, really.

Re:Hard to imagine the vastness (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41456617)

Astronomers spend SO much of their time looking at light-speed forced history that I feel a certain slight is paid to what the present truly may be.

Time is not universal. Across these distances, you can't just take our local clock and apply it to some remote location. Your question of "What is happening 13 light-years away simultaneously with what we consider the present?" just doesn't have an answer on its own. You need to define your point of observation. If you are using us as your observer, then what you see through the telescope is what you get. That's your present day reality.

Astronomers grok this. That's why they don't bother with the science fiction,

Re:Hard to imagine the vastness (1, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41455635)

I'd say life on another planet isn't just a possibility, but a statistical certainty

I'd say that the liklihood of us being the only life is remote, but not certain. And if there is life out there, it may well be that we simply don't find it, because it was here long before us, long after we become extinct, or just too damned far away (which would be any galaxy except our own).

There may be something special about his rock. We just don't know. Until we find life elsewhere, there is no life elsewhere.

Re:Hard to imagine the vastness (3, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 2 years ago | (#41454855)

5) the fact that the universe could smile and say "cheese" so long . . .

Re:Hard to imagine the vastness (5, Funny)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 2 years ago | (#41454887)

Space, is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.

Re:Hard to imagine the vastness (4, Funny)

Pope (17780) | about 2 years ago | (#41455279)

Space is big
Space is dark
It's hard to find
A place to park
Burma Shave

Re:Hard to imagine the vastness...HOT (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 2 years ago | (#41456695)

NASA noted a cloud of Baryons likely goes out more than 300,000 light years out from the center of the Milky Way (maybe 70,000 light years in radius by memory).

The Baryon cloud is at a temperature of 1-2.5 million kelvin !!!

Hence, with your Warp Drive you won't need to worry about a warm Burma Shave. In fact you won't worry any more at all as you will assume an equal position with the Baryons.

Re:Hard to imagine the vastness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41456039)

That doesn't matter, as long as you where your towel is.

Re:Hard to imagine the vastness (2)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about 2 years ago | (#41455027)

> the ability of some insignificant bags of protoplasm on an insignificant planet near a run of the mill star,

Wow - with self esteem like that, no wonder you feel like crap. :-)

Re:Hard to imagine the vastness (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 2 years ago | (#41455061)

Maybe you should try one of those pumps.

Re:Hard to imagine the vastness (1)

Terminus24 (2082320) | about 2 years ago | (#41456435)

Maybe you should try one of those pumps.

That's not my bag, baby ...

Re:Hard to imagine the vastness (1)

na1led (1030470) | about 2 years ago | (#41455121)

And just think, our universe maybe vastly smaller in comparison. To me, it only seems logical that we must live in a multiverse, because how could Time itself start 14.6 Billion years ago?

Re:Hard to imagine the vastness (1, Interesting)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about 2 years ago | (#41455171)

> because how could Time itself start 14.6 Billion years ago?

. /sarcasm What! You mean don't follow the dogma/nonsense that out of nothing came time and space!? Heretic! ;-)

--
  "If energy can neither be created nor destroyed, then logically the universe must of have ALWAYS existed."

Re:Hard to imagine the vastness (1)

hazah (807503) | about 2 years ago | (#41455575)

Not really a dogma if it can be observed, now is it?

Re:Hard to imagine the vastness (1)

u64 (1450711) | about 2 years ago | (#41456693)

"If energy can neither be created nor destroyed, then logically the universe must of have ALWAYS existed."

Energy can exist in different forms. Currently the energy is in the form of our universe. And "before" that, something else.

Re:Hard to imagine the vastness (1)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#41455251)

But is the multiverse running serialy or in parallel?

And are each of similar size?
I keep getting this picture of Marvin the Martian [wikipedia.org] strutting around alone on his single planet around a single sun with nothing else in sight.

Re:Hard to imagine the vastness (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 2 years ago | (#41455815)

If temporal dimensionality only exists inside universes, I'm not sure there's a meaningful answer to that question. Otherwise, who the hell knows.

Re:Hard to imagine the vastness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41456237)

But is the multiverse running serialy or in parallel?

And are each of similar size? I keep getting this picture of Marvin the Martian [wikipedia.org] strutting around alone on his single planet around a single sun with nothing else in sight.

They are running in parallel. With each choice we make we choose which part of the multiverse to experience.

Re:Hard to imagine the vastness (1)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#41456275)

They are running in parallel. With each choice we make we choose which part of the multiverse to experience.

You say this with such conviction that I suspect you have chosen to believe it is so.

Sorry to nitpic, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41456605)

The word "universe" means "all things taken as one."

Thus, we don't need the word "multiverse." Anything meant by "multiverse" would logically already be included in the meaning of "universe."

One will never discover a "parallel universe," but rather, a parallel part of the (even bigger than we thought it was before) universe.

Re:Hard to imagine the vastness (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about 2 years ago | (#41455737)

The picture represents only about 2 minutes of arc on the sky.. For comparison a fist stretched out twoard the sky consumes about 10 degrees of arc (1 degree = 60 minutes).

If you imagine the height of the outstreched fist the entire picture was taken from an area 300 times smaller.

Re:Hard to imagine the vastness (2)

steelfood (895457) | about 2 years ago | (#41455757)

To put it slightly more into perspective, each of the dots in the picture are not stars. They're galaxies. That's somewhere around one to several hundred billion stars in each dot.

It's like, there are as many galaxies out there visible to us as there are stars in our own galaxy. Mind-boggling.

Re:Hard to imagine the vastness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41455937)

Sorry, one sec here... Insignificant planet?

Have you seen the kind of crazy self assembling chemistry that happens on earth?

We may just be one bucket of lego in a seemingly infinite room of lego buckets but our lego self assembled itself into trees and grass and monkeys and cats. Hardly insignificant.

2 million second exposure? (2)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 2 years ago | (#41454639)

2 million seconds is 33,333 minutes which is 555 hours which is 23 days. You mean they took an exposure for 23 days to get this image?

I'm not saying it can't be done, only that this seems a bit off.

Re:2 million second exposure? (4, Funny)

Qzukk (229616) | about 2 years ago | (#41454693)

I'm not saying it can't be done, only that this seems a bit off.

It would have been longer but the guy with the finger on the shutter button had a sudden nose itch, and well, you know how it goes.

Re:2 million second exposure? (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 years ago | (#41454729)

I don't know why that seems off to you. We're talking about extremely faint signals with absolutely terrible signal-to-noise ratios. It takes a huge amount of data to generate enough parity to resolve what's signal and what's noise. To be honest, I'm surprised this wasn't one of hubble's first missions.

Re:2 million second exposure? (1)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#41455129)

What signal to noise ratio do you have in an optical telescope in space?

Re:2 million second exposure? (2)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 2 years ago | (#41455399)

It's a digital detector that bigass mirror is pointing at.

Re:2 million second exposure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41455685)

i.e. the thermal noise in the digital detector.

Re:2 million second exposure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41455673)

All those godamn aliens zooming around in their fucking spaceships, that's visual noise!

Re:2 million second exposure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41456081)

There is natural noise in the detector chip. While it is manufactured to have the perfect quantum efficiency, we are counting individual photons of light over a long period of time.

Re:2 million second exposure? (4, Informative)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#41454733)

They took many exposures totaling 23 days. From TFA:

This image is the combined total of over 2000 separate images, and the total exposure is a whopping two million seconds, or 23 days!

Re:2 million second exposure? (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 2 years ago | (#41454793)

I saw that after I posted but couldn't reply to myself because of the enforced time delay.

That makes much better sense that what was posted in the original story (which shouldn't surprise anyone).

Re:2 million second exposure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41455819)

If each exposure was equal in length that would be about 87 exposures a day, or about 3.3 exposures per hour, or a single exposure every 16 minutes and 33 seconds.

That makes things much more manageable, 16 minute exposures aren't all that difficult. However, successfully stacking thousands of images? That's impressive.

Re:2 million second exposure? (1)

Teun (17872) | about 2 years ago | (#41456323)

I would bet the exposures were done between other observations, they returned to this section of the sky multiple times.

Re:2 million second exposure? (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41454791)

2 million seconds is 33,333 minutes which is 555 hours which is 23 days. You mean they took an exposure for 23 days to get this image?

I'm not saying it can't be done, only that this seems a bit off.

Stacking. You can do this at home with a little scope and a CCD. Obviously this is an art requiring extensive signal processing expertise.

I'm guessing off the top of my head its a heck of a lot more like 3000 ten minute exposures stacked up. And probably a heck of a lot of rounding (like not 2 million but precisely 1834101.2352 seconds). So if you get an orbit every two hours, and each orbit you grabbed data for 10 mins, it would take like a year to gather the data and then stack em up.

Obviously if you're looking at planets or variable stars this is pretty meaningless, but entire galaxies probably average out plus or minus some supernovas.

Re:2 million second exposure? (2)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41454971)

Silly me I forgot to mention why you stack instead of stare.
If you stare then looking at the physics of a CCD imager the photon, err, its resulting charge, that arrived 10% of the way thru the exposure, is going to start leaking thru the gate insulator. So is a digital result of 12345 equivalent to 12345 photons arriving the instant before you read the array out, or 98765 photons a long time ago that leaked outta the array? But if you take nice short exposures you don't have that issue.

Ask an EE... there is no such thing as a perfect capacitor or perfect insulator... Close, but not perfect. You need to sample often enough that non-linear imperfections are not relevant.

Think about it... a big ole 80s eprom that you smack the heck out of on the ground will leak its charge away in just a decade... a wimpy galaxy's worth of light is going to have issues much sooner especially since you want analog not digital threshold result. The physics are slightly different but this is close enough analogy.

Re:2 million second exposure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41455663)

You mean they took an exposure for 23 days to get this image?

It doesn't have to be done all at once. Astronomers have been stacking shorter digital exposures to decrease noise for decades. It also helps spread the risk around - you don't lose everything if there's a computer glitch.

Re:2 million second exposure? (1)

Teun (17872) | about 2 years ago | (#41456305)

Why would that be off, because you would have blinked?
Anyway, the story says they did it in some 2000 sessions of 1000 secs. and then added the photo's up.

Wow. (3, Insightful)

mythosaz (572040) | about 2 years ago | (#41454645)

Seriously. Wow. The universe is awesome. Anyone unimpressed is either lying or ignorant.

Re:Wow. (3, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#41454815)

"its just a model."

("shhh!")

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41455049)

On second thought, let's not go there.

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41454989)

I AM NOT IMPRESSED. - God

Re:Wow. (2)

hazah (807503) | about 2 years ago | (#41455617)

Sorry, but I don't believe you speak for God.

Re:Wow. (2)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 2 years ago | (#41455829)

I'm not sure that anyone *doesn't* speak for God, or has any choice in the matter.

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41455993)

but you'll believe it when it comes from a book written millennia ago, by unknown men? ok.

Re:Wow. (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 2 years ago | (#41456547)

Only Hebrews was written by an unknown man (or some say woman) and it doesn't really talk about how God created the heavens. What are you getting at?

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41455713)

Seriously. Wow. The universe is awesome. Anyone unimpressed is either lying or ignorant.

The only two reasons which make me not particularly impressed are; I've seen something similar before, over a decade ago. Secondly, there's no scale for me to understand just how far and vast this image is, if they could take lots of images like this at a different zoom level, then maybe my brain could comprehend just what we're looking at here.

Re:Wow. (0)

THE_WELL_HUNG_OYSTER (2473494) | about 2 years ago | (#41455807)

It's a fucking illusion. You're impressed by magic?

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41456287)

It's a fucking illusion. You're impressed by magic?

Yes, but it seems so real! Isn't that impressive by itself?

Re:Wow. (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 2 years ago | (#41456363)

In a word, yes.

I need a new wallpaper (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#41454701)

Anyone have this image in 1920x1080?

Re:I need a new wallpaper (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41454899)

TFA has a link to a 2400 x 2100 version.

Re:I need a new wallpaper (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41455091)

Still pixelated on my retina

Re:I need a new wallpaper (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41455625)

I won't go to TFA because Phil Plait is a dirty bird and an astroturfer and a slashvertiser.

my God... (1)

k6mfw (1182893) | about 2 years ago | (#41454715)

...it's full of stars! OK so I used the tagline from a movie. But then it is cool to see this stuff so far away while most of us mortals toil in our cubicles. Almost unreal like it's Photoshop (SETIcon II had panel discussion and one topic debated are difficult to tell actual images from CGI. Hint: don't process the raw images from scopes and spacecraft).

Re:my God... (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 2 years ago | (#41454761)

Actually, considering this image: My God.... It's full of galaxies! (Which themselves are full of stars.)

Then again, that doesn't flow as nicely.

Re:my God... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41455403)

I think Carl [bigskyastroclub.org] put it best:

"We succeeded in taking that picture [from deep space], and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.

The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us. It's been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience. To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."

Hey everybody, it's Phil Plait! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41454725)

He's back again to submit his own article. Some good astroturfing there, Phil. Top of the Slashvertisement scale to put yourself out there more.
 
Friggin' hack.

Re:Hey everybody, it's Phil Plait! (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41455215)

Science doesn't promote itself. If there were any justice in the world, the Hubble team would be as celebrated as any sports team. This is certainly a much greater accomplishment than anything that happened at the Olympics. But that's not the world we live in. We need people like Phil Plait to publicly celebrate science. If there's a bit of self promotion in there too, so be it.

Re:Hey everybody, it's Phil Plait! (2)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 2 years ago | (#41455351)

Jesus, you act like he's the Second Coming of Roland Piquepaille. Bad Astronomer's stuff is on-topic for the Slashdot crowd. A look back 13 billion years is interesting, and we count on guys like Bad Astronomer to bring it to our attention. Why don't you fuck off back to AOL or wherever it is you come from?

Oh God... (1)

TorrentFox (1046862) | about 2 years ago | (#41454737)

I can see forever!

Noisy (1)

bcong (1125705) | about 2 years ago | (#41454841)

Is the image noisy or are those grey dots something that I should take note of?

Re:Noisy (1)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | about 2 years ago | (#41455413)

The fine even speckling is the CCD pixel resolution, you can ignore that, but the blue, red, green and other coloured specks that are not evenly spread are galaxies similtar to the prominent ones, just further out.

The Great Silence (1)

Max_W (812974) | about 2 years ago | (#41454923)

So many stars and still that Great Silence. Not a single, not even remotely meaningful signal.

When one looks at ancient neolithic art on stones or on animal bones, a meaningfulness, an intelligence is immediately visible. Not a slightest doubt when one sees it.

But billions of stars and not a single radio message. Not even a more or less complicated rhythm. Just background noise.

Could it be that we see sort of a mirage?

Re:The Great Silence (2)

hazah (807503) | about 2 years ago | (#41455687)

The problem with coming to conclusions before you have evidence is that you'll start fitting the evidence into your conclusion. How about you don't assume what we are looking at and simply take it in as it comes?

Re:The Great Silence (1)

turbidostato (878842) | about 2 years ago | (#41455793)

"Could it be that we see sort of a mirage?"

An Einstenian mirage.

Think about this for a moment: if in one of those galaxies in the further side of time and space, and intelligent species pointed a Hubble-like telescope to us, even if the telescope were sensible enough... they wouldn't see not a single, not even remotely meaningful signal, if only for the reason that they would be looking about 9 billion years too early.

Re:The Great Silence (2)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 2 years ago | (#41455949)

The amount of time that intelligent critters who can manipulate tools and create recognizable radio signals for communication is likely to be very brief. In less than a century, data compression and encryption will make almost all of our radio traffic look like static from the outside. The vaguely intelligible bits sent out prior to that are so weak that they'll likely never be received or interpreted. Bottom line? Lack of intelligent radio indicates nothing.

Intelligence != tool using either. Dolphins are a bright lot. They don't make radios. Other forms of intelligence may not even be recognizable to us. intelligent Jovian gasbags may have delightful discussions about mathematics, but we wouldn't even necessarily notice them if we were to send a powered probe into the atmosphere. For that matter, if Earth fungi were brilliant, how would we know? Particularly if they only communicate chemically and their major topic of discussion is the mathematics of weather and soil conditions.

Re:The Great Silence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41456267)

So many stars and still that Great Silence. Not a single, not even remotely meaningful signal.

Yet.

Galaxies photographed so young ... (0)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#41454933)

... pedobear must be involved.

500 Million Years Old? (1)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | about 2 years ago | (#41454951)

I'm curious about the statement that some we are seeing around 500M y.o. Can someone tell me what that is based upon? I'm not up on the latest numbers but I thought the universe was to be approx 14B y.o. Does it take into account increasing expansion of space over that period? Does it assume we are at the furthest point away from those other galaxies (or are they saying it only extends 500M light years beyond us)? I understood all of it except that side comment. /noob question.

Re:500 Million Years Old? (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41455377)

I'm curious about the statement that some we are seeing around 500M y.o. Can someone tell me what that is based upon?

How'd they do it? Donno. Maybe just assumptions based on redshift, maybe something else.

How would I do it? Wikipedia for metallicity. If it takes 14 billion years to nucleosynthesize this much carbon and stuff here in our galaxy, then if you see about 1/28th as much carbon and stuff over there then its probably only 1/28th the age or 500 Myr old.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metallicity [wikipedia.org]

I don't think these guys did a metallicity analysis, but someone else probably did at an extrapolated redshift...

Re:500 Million Years Old? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41455471)

Read the line again, the quote is, "The most distant objects here are over 13 billion light years away, and we see them when they were only 500 million years old." The 500 million years is after the Big Bang

Meh (3, Interesting)

srussia (884021) | about 2 years ago | (#41454983)

Mere shadows on the wall of a cavern [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Meh (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41456229)

Shut up Plato, or we'll demote you to dwarf philosopher. Don't think we won't.

What I don't understand is (1)

na1led (1030470) | about 2 years ago | (#41455007)

If our universe is 14.5 Billion years old, and these galaxies we see are about 13 Billion light years away, shouldn't they be spread out much further apart? I would expect to only see a few galaxies in this picture.

Re:What I don't understand is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41455349)

What you see is how it was 13 billion years ago, and back then IIRC it was much smaller... and that is what you see. If you take the same picture again in lets say 13 billion years, things should have spread out more. But since you are always in the center of the universe (actually everyone everywhere is always in the center) it just increased the distance from you, and you should notice that in a two dimensional picture. I think the universe is not meant to be understand by anyone...

(I got my knowledge from Carl Segans: The Cosmos ...so I might have misunderstood some things... but it makes sense to me)

Re:What I don't understand is (1)

dumcob (2595259) | about 2 years ago | (#41455401)

Yup I dont get it either. From what I understand we are looking at things in different points in the past. So where is everything "today"?

When I heard the learn'd astronomer... (2)

Tyler Durden (136036) | about 2 years ago | (#41455143)

When I heard the learn'd astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them;
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-
room,
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out, I wander'd off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.

-Walt Whitman

Re:When I heard the learn'd astronomer... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41455747)

The sad tale of a man with ADD. Unable to sit still and be educated for 30 minutes, he wanders off to look at shiny things instead. Oh well, I'm sure the rest of the people at the lecture managed to learn something.

Re:When I heard the learn'd astronomer... (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about 2 years ago | (#41455975)

Well, that's great for Walt. Personally, I'd rather learn to fly an airplane than stare at a flock of seagulls.

I am afraid to click on any of the links (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#41455199)

Judging by the title of this article, I somehow expect to see links to the goatse.cx site...

Now Deep Thoughts... (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about 2 years ago | (#41455231)

We need Jack Handy's take on this!!

Very Cool! (1)

Lashat (1041424) | about 2 years ago | (#41455333)

Check your ego.

When I connect the dots I see the Face of God (1)

peter303 (12292) | about 2 years ago | (#41455343)

humbled by the profoundity of the universe

Re:When I connect the dots I see the Face of God (1)

Nyder (754090) | about 2 years ago | (#41456507)

humbled by the profoundity of the universe

I see a big marijuana leaf myself...

Slashdot going like digg? (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41455423)

Here is the original link to NASA http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/science/xdf.html .

Is there a reason old Philly gets so many articles pushed up on Slashdot? Or is it the discovery channel that's gamed Slashdot?

Re:Slashdot going like digg? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41456199)

It's because he's an astroturfer. If it was anyone else there would be howls from the same people who praise Phucking Phil. Slashdot is filled with double standards like this.

Makes you wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41455603)

The objects in the image are viewed when they were only 500 Million years old. If only we'd discovered how to build the hubble telescope a few hundered million years earlier, we could have looked at the beginning of it all...

image size (1)

fa2k (881632) | about 2 years ago | (#41455613)

Is the 2382×2078, 2 MB JPEG the full version? I'm really impressed by that one, and I realise it goes for depth (faint objects) and not size, but just wanted to check...

So much in so little sky... (4, Interesting)

As_I_Please (471684) | about 2 years ago | (#41455683)

NASA's page about the eXtreme Deep Field [nasa.gov] has a picture showing the amount of sky photographed compared to the size of the moon. It looks like all 5500 galaxies could be covered up by a grain of sand held out at arms length.

A-maz-ing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41456615)

This is why I think life on another planet isn’t just a possibility but a statistical certainty. There are 5,500 galaxies in this tiny segment of the sky. (IIRC, the original Deep Field took up about the size of the moon in the sky.) There are 5,500 galaxies there. This means there must be tens of thousands (if not hundreds of galaxies), each with millions (if not billions) of stars. Even if only a tiny fraction of those stars had planets which could support life, there would be a huge number of life-sustaining planets out there. For this to be the only planet where life arose would be extremely unlikely. Mind you, this doesn’t mean we can reach that life nor does it mean that life can reach us. It doesn’t do us any good right now if a billion light years away Zorax is looking up at the stars from Xelex Prime wondering if there’s any life out in the Universe. The Universe might be teeming with civilizations, each so far apart that not only are communication/travel impossible, but that merely being able to detect another civilization’s existence might be a rarity. Imagine a Universe full of lonely civilizations wondering “Is anyone out there?”
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