Looking Back to the Hubble Deep Field

The new deep field images from JWST are spectacular, but we learned a lot from Hubble’s earlier deep field images. Let’s take another look.

The stars seem to fly by under warp drive on StarTrek. This video definitely one-ups that. These are galaxies, not stars. Because it takes light a long time to cross the universe, most galaxies visible in the video are seen when the universe was only a fraction of its current age. They were still forming and have unusual shapes compared to modern galaxies. There are no mature looking spiral galaxies such as our Milky Way or the Andromeda galaxy. They had not evolved yet. At the end of the video the virtual observer flies past the furthest galaxies in the HUDF with a redshift past 8. These early low luminosity galaxies probably contained stars emitting light that transformed much of the remaining normal matter in the universe from a cold gas to a hot ionized plasma.

Video Credit: NASA

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