(ORDO NEWS) — An international team of astronomers recently released an infrared (IR) image of the largest patch of sky ever seen in images taken by NASA‘s Hubble Space Telescope.
This image will allow astronomers to map the star-forming regions of the universe and understand the origin of the earliest, most distant galaxies.
This high-resolution 3D-DASH survey of the sky will enable astronomers to detect rare objects and select science targets for follow-up observations with the recently launched James Webb Space Telescope, which could have a mission spanning more than a decade.
“Since the launch of the mission more than 30 years ago, the Hubble Space Telescope has ushered in a renaissance in the study of the evolution of the universe’s galaxies over the past 10 billion years,” said Lamiya Mowla of the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, Canada, who is the lead author of the new study.
“The 3D-DASH program allows expanding the capabilities of Hubble in obtaining images with a wide field of view, which will make it possible to discover the secrets of other galaxies in the Universe.”
For the first time in the history of astronomy, the 3D-DASH project will give researchers a complete infrared view of the entire COSMOS field, one of the richest data fields for studying extragalactic objects.
Since the visible light emitted by the most distant galaxies, when passing through the entire Universe, is stretched, its wavelength grows, and as a result of observing the sky in the infrared range, it is possible to clearly see the most distant galaxies formed shortly after the Big Bang.
Astronomers also need to observe vast swaths of the sky in order to detect the rarest objects in the universe.
Until now, such images of vast areas of the sky were available only in the case of observations from the Earth and had insufficiently high resolution, which limited the possibility of using them to detect some important objects.
The 3D-DASH sky survey will help identify unique objects such as the most massive galaxies in the universe, highly active black holes, and galaxies that are on the verge of colliding and merging into a single galaxy.
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