Deep Space Portrait

Photograph courtesy NASA/ESA/S. Beckwith (STScI)/HUDF Team

A one-million-second exposure of a small fraction of the sky reveals thousands of distant galaxies, some of which emerged less than a billion years after the big bang. The image, the deepest portrait of the visible universe ever made, was taken as part of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF) project, an effort to detect objects that formed in the infancy of the universe. It shows a hodgepodge of galaxies, including younger, well-formed spirals as well as misshapen "oddball" galaxies that formed in the cosmic chaos after the big bang.