Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hubble`s Advanced Camera unveils a panoramic new view of the Universe

02.05.2002


Jubilant astronomers today unveiled humankind`s most spectacular views of the Universe as captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope`s new Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS). They also reported that Hubble is operating superbly since the March servicing mission and are looking forward to more pictures from the newly revived NICMOS camera.



"The ACS is opening a wide new window onto the Universe. These are among the best images of the distant Universe humans have ever seen," says Johns Hopkins University astronomer Holland Ford, the lead scientist in the ACS` seven-year development. "The ACS will let us obtain the deepest image of the Universe for the foreseeable future," added astronomer Garth Illingworth, the deputy leader for the ACS.

The camera`s tenfold increase in efficiency will open up much anticipated new `discovery space` for Hubble. "ACS will allow us to push back the frontier of the early Universe. We will be able to enter the `twilight zone` period when galaxies were just beginning to form out of the blackness following the cooling of the Universe from the Big Bang," says Ford.


Among the suite of four `suitable for framing` ACS science demonstration pictures released today is a stunning view of a colliding galaxy, dubbed the `Tadpole`, located 420 million light-years away. Unlike textbook images of stately galaxies, the `Tadpole` with a long tidal tail of stars, looks like a runaway pinwheel firework. It captures the essence of our dynamic, restless and violent Universe.

But what came as an unexpected bonus is the enormous number of galaxies behind the Tadpole galaxy - as many as 6000, twice the number in the legendary Hubble Deep Field (HDF) in 1995. Amazingly, the ACS picture was taken in one-twelfth the time it took for the original HDF, and in blue light it shows even fainter objects than the HDF. Like the HDF, the galaxies stretch back to nearly the beginning of time and contain myriad shapes that are snapshots of galaxies throughout the Universe`s 13 billion-year evolution.

The ACS images are so sharp astronomers can identify `building blocks` of galaxies, colliding galaxies, an exquisite `Whitman`s Sampler` of galaxies, and extremely distant galaxies in the field. The ACS image of the Tadpole illustrates the dramatic gains over the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 that were expected from doubling the area and resolution, and five times improvement in sensitivity.

The other pictures include a stunning collision between two spiral galaxies – dubbed `the Mice` – that presage what may happen to our own Milky Way several billion years in the future when it collides with the neighbouring galaxy in the constellation Andromeda. Computer simulations made by J. Barnes and J. Hibbard show that we are seeing the collision of the Mice approximately 160 million years after their closest encounter. Running the simulations forward in time shows that the two galaxies will eventually merge, forming an elliptical-like galaxy. A similar fate may await the Milky Way and the Andromeda galaxy.

Looking closer to home, ACS imaged the Cone Nebula, a craggy-looking mountaintop of cold gas and dust that is a cousin to Hubble`s iconic `pillars of creation` in the Eagle Nebula, photographed in 1995.

Peering into a celestial maternity ward called the Swan Nebula (M17), the ACS revealed a watercolour fantasy-world tapestry of vivid colours and glowing ridges of gas. Embedded in this crucible of star creation are embryonic planetary systems.

Mounted aboard the world`s premier optical-ultraviolet telescope, the ACS is a camera of superlatives. It is expected to go beyond the sensitivity of the largest ground-based telescope to eventually see the very faintest objects ever. Its camera delivers a panoramic crispness comparable to that of a wide-screen IMAX movie, a staggering 16 million picture elements (megapixels) per snapshot (typical consumer cameras are 2 to 4 megapixels).

Lars Lindberg Christensen | alphagalileo

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Studying fundamental particles in materials
17.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Struktur und Dynamik der Materie

nachricht Seeing the quantum future... literally
16.01.2017 | University of Sydney

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice

17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>