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NASA pieces together most detailed image of the universe to date

Image courtesy: Hubble eXtreme/NASA
Image courtesy: Hubble eXtreme/NASA

Staff writers

September 26, 2012 — NASA's Hubble eXtreme XDF telescope has beamed back a new and improved image of the universe.

NASA astronomers have pieced together the most detailed view of the universe to date.

The data was captured by the Hubble eXtreme Deep Field (XDF) and pieced together using 10 years of Hubble images.

Thousands of galaxies - some dating back 13.2 billion years - can be seen in the portrait.

The XDF is the deepest image of the sky ever obtained and reveals the faintest and most distant galaxies ever seen. XDF allows us to explore further back in time than ever before, said Garth Illingworth of the University of California at Santa Cruz, principal investigator of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field 2009 program.

The youngest galaxy featured in the image existed approximately 450 million years after the birth of the universe.

NASA plans to launch another, more advanced telescope in 2018. Dubbed the Webb, the telescope will scour the universe in search of galaxies that existed a few hundred million years after the dawn of the universe.

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