Day 25 of the 2013 Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar, one of 25 photos. The Hubble Ultra Deep Field. Almost none of the objects visible in this image are within our own galaxy, the Milky Way. Instead, practically every smudge, dot or spiral you see here is an entire galaxy, each composed of billions of stars. In late 2003, scientists pointed Hubble at a relatively dim patch of sky, and just opened up the shutter, leaving it open for more than one million seconds (just over 11 days). The result was the Ultra Deep Field, a snapshot of more than 10,000 previously unkown galaxies visible within a tiny patch of our night sky. No other image has ever demonstrated so powerfully the unimaginable vastness of our universe, or the wonders yet to be discovered. (NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith, STScI and the HUDF Team)
Thanks so much for being a part of this year’s Hubble Advent Calendar! Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and a heartfelt wish for Peace on Earth in 2014!