back to article Hubble probes deepest universe

The Hubble Space Telescope has captured "the deepest image of the universe ever taken in near-infrared light", revealing galaxies which formed a mere 600 million years after the Big Bang: The Hubble image of ancient galaxies. Pic: NASA The picture (big version here), showing a region bounded by the constellations Cetus, …


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  1. Z 1
    Thumb Up


    that is all

  2. Dale Richards

    This image...

    ...quite unexpectedly reduced me to tears. Not just from awe at the ever-increasing vastness of our known Universe, or even at the beauty of all those twinkling galaxies. But also from the dawning realisation of the ultimate futility of our space exploration programmes. Even given 30 billion years of further human development, we're unlikely to ever visit the places in this image, we'll never reach the edge of the Universe and we'll never understand what it's all about.

    The Universe might as well be infinite, for infinity is both everything and nothing. If we can never see outside the boundaries of the Universe, there's no evidence to suggest the Universe even exists.

    I'd be curious to know what amanfromMars has to say about this.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Who knows?

      I don't know what amanfrommars would say Dale, but it's unlikely to be as coherent or thought-provoking as your post.

    2. Martin Lyne

      Don't be so glum

      Don't be so glum.. there's always hope.

      Apart from, of course, the galaxies we are seeing probably no longer exist. We are looking quite far into the past..

    3. Anonymous Coward

      You should take something for that...

      That's a bad case of existential angst you've got there! =OP

      What I find fascinating is the vast array of diverse objects in this image; along with plainly spiral 'classic' galaxies, there are strangely nebulous blotches, pairs of objects so similar they look like twins, and extremely bright 'super stars' which may well be collapsed galaxies.

      I suspect one could spend a lifetime just studying the various objects seen in this one image...

    4. Steve Swann

      @Dale Richards

      It's not the winning that matters; it's the taking part that counts.

  3. Sir Runcible Spoon

    I like traffic lights

    and to think, we can't even get to our own Moon without massive problems.



  4. Alex 32

    Truly awe-inspiring


    Plain and simple.

    "My god, it's full of stars..."

  5. luis sancho


    CERN permitted, when they take a pic of galaxies formed - 500 million years before the big bang (gamow's theory of a Universe that never exploded except in his imagination as worker on the A-Bomb) of course, the pic looks exactly like any pic of any part of the fractal infinite Universe, with absolutely all the galaxies formed in TIME RECORD!, now we have a record machine and a record universe, making galaxies

    those people areclueless meanwhle our president prepares to get his saint nobel of the dynamite he biggest manufacturer of cannons and inventor of dynamite and chemical explosives that made him extremely wealthy in the prussian and I World War. His only rival was Mr. Krupp, who made soap with jews gipsies and russians to lower costs of greasing cannons. But Nobel was smarter. He invented the multinational by setting different companies with different nationalities so he could sell weapons to each contendant. The Swedes followed suit becoming 'neutral' to make business with both, England and Germany, which made them the wealthiest europeans after I world war. Uncle Fred also said about the Nobel Peace he instituted not to loose his very young activist lover: 'my factories will make peace earlier than all those congresses by inventing weapons that annihilate entire nations in a second'. Right now all the wannabe Nobels assemblied at CERN are carrying Mr. Nobel wishes till the end. I propose CERN for the next one, if we are still here...

    1. peyton?

      Hmm... this post is missing something...

      I've got it! Needs more references to Damocles.

    2. Dale Richards

      luis sancho

      Stop spoiling our moment.

    3. Adrian Challinor

      Not sure what your taking there

      But I don't think the medications is working !

  6. awomanfromVenus

    Is my opinion any good?

    Well I don't know what amanfromMars 1 will say, but you can never reach the edge of the universe, the psudo-logic goes like this:-

    If you are at what you think is the edge of the universe and you stick out our hand, either;

    there is nothing there, then you can go a bit further and you are therefore not at the edge of the universe.

    there is something there for you to touch, then there is “something there” and you are therefore not at the edge of the universe.

    1. Dale Richards

      Yes, it's good

      It's a great comment, but my concern is that if it's not possible to exist outside of the Universe, there can be no objective observations of it. Science, therefore, is unable to prove the existence of the Universe.

      The other possibility is that "space" is infinite, but there's a matter boundary, where crossing the boundary leads to an infinite expanse of empty space where no matter (or antimatter) exists. By crossing the boundary, you introduce matter into the space and therefore expand the Universe. Of course, if "space" is infinite, then it can't be shown to exist either.

      Hubble's Ultra Deep Field image is undoubtedly beautiful, but it also seems to be mocking us. It's like we're trying to find our way in an infinitely complex hall of mirrors - the deeper we look, the deeper it goes.

      1. Quirkafleeg

        Re: Yes, it's good

        The Universe. Population: 0.

    2. Z 1

      bendy bendy

      Unless of course the universe is curved, and by sticking your hand out you inadvertantly end up feeling yourself up!

  7. TheRevP
    Thumb Up


    I would like to thank Luis Sancho for one of the finest peices of authentic frontier gibberish (frontiers of sanity that is) I've heard in quite some time.

    Well done old chap.

    Pretty much no idea at all what you're on about there, but I may wander over to the rather exciting sounding later to see if it sheds any light on the matter. Alternately, should I find myself with that much time to spare I may well just attempt to cut off both legs with a rusty spoon.

    I'll probably toss a coin to decide to be honest...

  8. codemonkey


    Accepting all this on face value....that's one stunning picture...take it as wallpaper'd...Now if only we can leverage our own tech to start to sort this planet out then maybe we'll get a pass one day :)

    Did i mention, ditch the current system, go pro-human :)

    Wonderful image....

  9. Rotate anti-clockwise ...

    @louis sancho


  10. Paris Hilton
    Thumb Up

    Whenever life get you down, Mrs. Brown

    And things seem hard or tough

    And people are stupid, obnoxious or daft

    And you feel that you've had quite enu-hu-hu-huuuuff

    Just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving

    And revolving at 900 miles an hour

    That's orbiting at 19 miles a second, so it's reckoned

    A sun that is the source of all our power

    The sun and you and me, and all the stars that we can see

    Are moving at a million miles a day

    In an outer spiral arm, at 40,000 miles an hour

    Of the galaxy we call the Milky Way

    Our galaxy itself contains 100 billion stars

    It's 100,000 light-years side-to-side

    It bulges in the middle, 16,000 light-years thick

    But out by us it's just 3000 light-years wide

    We're 30,000 light-years from galactic central point

    We go round every 200 million years

    And our galaxy is only one of millions of billions

    In this amazing and expanding universe

    The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding

    In all of the directions it can whiz

    As fast as it can go, at the speed of light you know

    Twelve million miles a minute and that's the fastest speed there is

    So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure

    How amazingly unlikely is your birth

    And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space

    Because there's bugger all down here on Earth

    1. Kevin Campbell

      Best Python song ever

      Late one night in the corporate data center, I ran the numbers in the song and found them to be accurate within reason. I raise my glass to Eric Idle for my favorite* of all the Python songs.

      *because I am neither a lumberjack, nor OK.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    B e a utiful

    really like the flare lower right - presume its a single star..

    Fascinated by the lower left corner though - Red and greeny-blue in a cluster together... so some coming some going... I presum its not rotating but could be debris from a massive coming apart...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Edge of the Universe

    I'm still waiting to see a sign in one of these images that says ' This area under construction.'

    1. Steve Roper

      Or more like...

      "Pardon our dust! We're making outer Coma Berenices a better place to live!"

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Edge

    The universe is expanding at the speed of light, since you can't travel faster than that you'd never be able to catch it...

    1. Anonymous Coward

      ahh.. but

      You dont need to catch it to see it! if light was reflected of the sign.. it will come to us.

  14. Disco-Legend-Zeke ?

    We need Amanfrommars to explain it to us.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Beautiful pic

    So many galaxies, solar systems, planets...

    And then some people still believe that intelligen life exists only on Earth. Clearly they exclude themselves out of that count though...

  16. Fred 4

    one more

    excerpt: From Deteriorata - National Lampoon

    You are a fluke

    Of the universe.

    You have no right to be here.

    And whether you can hear it or not

    The universe is laughing behind your back.

    Be assured that a walk through the ocean of most souls

    Would scarcely get your feet wet.

    Fall not in love therefore;

    It will stick to your face.

    Gracefully surrender the things of youth:

    The birds, clean air, tuna, Taiwan

    And let not the sands of time

    Get in your lunch.

    Hire people with hooks.

    For a good time call 606-4311;

    Ask for "Ken."

    Take heart amid the deepening gloom

    That your dog is finally getting enough cheese.

    And reflect that whatever misfortune may be your lot

    It could only be worse in Milwaukee.

    You are a fluke

    Of the universe.

    You have no right to be here.

    And whether you can hear it or not

    The universe is laughing behind your back.

    Therefore, make peace with your god

    Whatever you conceive him to be---

    Hairy thunderer, or cosmic muffin.

    With all its hopes, dreams, promises and urban renewal

    The world continues to deteriorate.

    GIVE UP!

  17. Denarius Silver badge

    another snap

    Looks just like any other deep or shallow wide field view.

    Given the apparent distance, maybe it is looking at the Local Group, a long time ago.

    BTW, given the rational attitude of "On no-ones authority" how can you prove that red shift does equal distance for stellar distances in the lab ?

    @AC As for something alive out there, go do some reading on how unusual the earth, Sun, Suns location and Milky Way are. Avoid tabloids, New Scientist and other such realatively simple sources of information.

  18. Long Fei
    Thumb Up


    "And then some people still believe that intelligent life exists only on Earth. Clearly they exclude themselves out of that count though..."

    Exactly what I was going to say AC. How can people even *doubt* there's other life out there with all those galaxies?

    A mind blowing picture, really. I look at it in sheer awe and amazement.

  19. Fozzy 1

    I am...

    quite simply humbled



    I think I'll go and quietly contemplate my insignifiance in the universe

  20. Tony Paulazzo
    Thumb Up

    # 2746354

    Ancient interstellar history, a few tears, awe, Python (big lol), but, how far back will we be able to see, just before or after the (theoretical) big bang? What would that look like? And why can we only look back into the past but travel solely into the future, never the other way round?

    Cool picture; desk-topped.

  21. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Life in outer space is not necessarily people

    Just to say... for five-sixths of the existence of the earth up to now, there wasn't anything alive larger than single cells or more organised than snot. Then, for a long, long time, dinosaurs. Finally, very briefly on that timescale, life on earth included us. And maybe very soon it won't, when all the things that we depend on to live are used up. So... probably a great majority of planets in the universe are still in the snot phase. They may never go beyond it. Snot work. Dinosaurs work too. Some planets probably don't go beyond dinosaurs.

    In the Big Bang - well, let's say out of the Big Bang, from it - we got hydrogen and helium and vanishingly little lithium. Every other chemical element was formed in stars that "lived" and then explosively "died" before the Sun and the solar system coalesced from interstellar gas seeded with, compressed by, the earlier stars' remains. The universe had to wait star lifetimes - admittedly much shorter for larger stars, which can be much much larger - before we could exist.

    If someone else is out there, I hope we can be friends, even if we only communicate long distance, never meet. In the meantime, all the responsibility for appreciating the universe lies on us.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    but what exactly are they looking for?

  23. luis sancho


    they are looking for the 'beginning' when the Universe was in gamow's mind a 'singularity' that is a super-bomb. He calculated that this sueprbomb would cool down and now would be a 20 K degrees! then penzias found it was actually a 2.7k radiation??? gamow rapidily went to his equation and introduced an ad hoc parameter to get the exact temperature alas!, then it turned out that he had calculated 10 billion years, and we soon saw that the infinite Universe was logner, so he recalculated 13.4 billion, now we are at the edge and it seems that all look steady state... he he, that is why i laugh, soon they will get up to 14 billion years with the new telescope cern permitted and so they will take pics of the - 500 million galactic world exactly as the rest (-; now of course there is an alternative, beuatiful humbling theory of the universe that pietronero has tabulated, the fractal universe paradigm, nottale has described mathematically for its space parameters and sancho for its time parameters but this paradigm will require to get the - 500 million pic and the big bang of CERN hopefuly only of CERN (-;, you are funny people though, i must say i enjoyed so much attention though it is time to depart 'the prince must be hated or loved but never ignored' Machiavelli (-;

    For those who have more curiosity for what it is really indeed MASS, AND the universe and what is NOT this excerpt from a book i published long ago, like the movie censored/ignored... money=cern makes the world goes round. It shows indeed why CERN is stopping science:

    when the dangers of the Large Hadron Cannon were known, the Nuclear Company put the 'system' at work. First it voiced out 'ad hominem' campaigns against those scientists who denounced the crime; then it diluted the dangers with false statements that portrayed the quark cannon as a harmless cosmic ray factory, when it is a fact of science that quarks and cosmic rays are completely different kind of particles. We have in fact excellent cosmic rays observatories and we never found quarks in cosmic rays. Finally, during all the years in which the company lobbied for the money to construct the machine, it made marketing campaigns affirming that this machine will prove a series of fringe theories, pumped up as the ‘meaning of it all’: The company said that the quark cannon would find 'God' s particle', a hypothesized particle called the Higgs, which according to the company shall explain the meaning of mass. This again is false. The particle is self-similar to a well known quark, the top quark. It has the same mass and properties, and so it is very likely, since the Universe is efficient and not redundant, that the Higgs, which we haven't found in 30 years do not exist, as we shall explain in detail. Further on, even if it exists it is only useful to explain a reaction, the death of our matter, as neutrons and protons decay into 2 particles called W and Z, which then seem to transform themselves into Higgs=Top quarks (the sum of their masses is that of the Higgs/Top: W+Z=T). So this hypothetical Higgs merely would be the end result of our death as matter. And a factory of Top/Higgs means only a factory that will kill our matter, and if the reaction goes out of hand, all the matter of the planet Earth.

    Apart from that, the Higgs/Top does not explain at all the meaning of mass, or gives mass to other particles. This is nonsense. It is just one more particle of the zoo of the Universe.

    So all that marketing about the Higgs/Top, being 'God's particle' and the most important particle of the Universe is ludicrous. And if this is not widely recognized, it has to do with the confrontation between quantum physicists and Einstein, the scientist who worked out a theory of gravitation and mass, which still stands. In essence, Einstein defined masses as 'whirls of space-time', attractive tornado-like vortices that followed his principle of equivalence between mass and acceleration. So as a hurricane accelerates towards its center, attracting all what surrounds it, a mass is an attractive whirl of space-time. Unlike the Higgs, a particle with a limited use, such definition of mass, taken to its ultimate consequences illuminates the understanding of the Universe as nothing else has done since Darwin. Because it means among other facts that we shall consider in detail in this book:

    The existence of a spiritual universe based in 'motions', in 'time events' more than in substances, in space. Indeed, if mass is a cyclical accelerated motion and energy a lineal motion, then the Universe, is an eternal game of two motions in constant transformation. What we call energy or entropy and what we call in/form/ation, or cyclical form (masses and charges).

    This concept applies also to other sciences, as biologists well know. Since they describe biological beings as a series of cycles of transformation of energy into information.

    It explains easily how mass becomes energy and vice-versa, E=Mc2, as it means just that when energy approaches the c-limit of speed, it curls into mass.

    Needless to say those are some of the questions CERN pretends to resolve as it announces in its booklets. It pretends to resolve what is dark matter (quarks), how particles acquire mass (through the principle of equivalence), how energy becomes mass (curling), when the Universe was born and how it will die (never, as both motions are eternal).

    This discovery of the beginning or end of the Universe in a huge explosion (the big-bang) is the second 'job' of this quark cannon, which obviously will provoke an enormous explosion when it creates a quark condensate. So what CERN basically says is that to replicate a big-explosion, a big-bang will explain it all. Yet today the cosmic big bang is an increasingly discredited theory, which astrophysicists are substituting by the concept, recently proved by the Hubble, of a ‘fractal Universe’ of infinite hierarchical scales, similar to those fractal drawings that self-repeat their form at different sizes. If we consider Einstein's theory of mass and the existence of a Universe of multiple scales, we obtain a much more beautiful, realistic picture of he Universe, in which cyclical motions in all scales (charges in the quantum scales, planets and galaxies in the gravitational scale) balanced the expansive energy of electromagnetic waves in the quantum scale and dark, repulsive gravitation/energy in the cosmic scale. And so we obtain an infinite fractal Universe of cyclical and lineal motions, of energies and informations, whose mathematical relationshIps, proportions and transformations explain all the questions quantum physicists have failed to solve in a century with obsolete theories that a corrupted industry of weapons pretends to prove bombing the Earth with quarks.

    And now really, as i see is impossible to preach the converted good luck with those children of thought making doodles at CERN...

    1. Olafthemighty


      Umm... what?

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