This is a brand new Ultra Deep Field, not to be confused with the previous one which you’ve probably already seen. If you haven’t, you really should. It’s one of Hubble’s most profound images, peering into an area of complete darkness to uncover thousands of our Universe’s faraway galaxies. In fact, there will be six more of them and this is the first in the series as part of the Frontier Fields program.
As the title indicates, this is a parallel observation. That means Hubble is looking at two places in the sky at once. The other spot Hubble looked at was Abell 2744, a massive cluster of galaxies which is gravitationally lensing galaxies behind it. Astronomers are using this natural lens to peer at even more distant galaxies. Teams of normally competitive scientists will independently reconstruct background galaxies by removing the lensing effect and then they will compare their results. The idea is that if their results match closely enough, reconstructions will be more accurate. Read more about this extremely cool astronomy at Frontier Fields as well as this Hubble Site news release.
Apologies if I screwed any of the above description up. I did my best.
These files can be found here.
North is NOT up. It is 35.7° counter-clockwise from up.
Hubble data is public domain, but I put a lot of work into combining it into beautiful color images. The minimal credit line should read: NASA / ESA / J. Schmidt
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.