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A Deep Look into a Dark Sky

Can you count the number of bright dots in this picture? This crowded frame is a deep-field image obtained using the Wide Field Imager (WFI), a camera mounted on a relatively modestly sized telescope, the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre located at the La Silla Observatory, Chile.

This image is one of five patches of sky covered by the COMBO-17 survey (Classifying Objects by Medium-Band Observations in 17 filters), a deep search for cosmic objects in a relatively narrow area of the southern hemisphere's sky. Each one of the five patches is recorded using 17 individual colour filters. Each one of the five COMBO-17 images covers an area of the sky the size of the full Moon.

The survey has already revealed thousands of previously unknown cosmic specimens — over 25 000 galaxies, tens of thousands of distant stars and quasars previously hidden from our view, showing just how much we still have to learn about the Universe.

Some of the most distant flecks of light visible in this photo are galaxies whose light has been travelling for nine or ten billion years before reaching to us. By studying galaxies of different ages astronomers can understand how they evolve in time, from mature nearby galaxies similar to our galaxy, the Milky Way, to young ones in the distant Universe that reveal what the cosmos was like in its infancy.

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ESO

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About the Image

Id:potw1428a
Type:Observation
Release date:14 July 2014, 10:00
Size:7754 x 7388 px

About the Object

Name:COMBO-17 survey
Type:• Unspecified : Cosmology
• X - Cosmology
Constellation:Sculptor

Image Formats

Large JPEG
27.4 MB
Screensize JPEG
393.9 KB

Zoomable


Wallpapers

1024x768
410.0 KB
1280x1024
649.3 KB
1600x1200
889.6 KB
1920x1200
1006.8 KB
2048x1536
1.3 MB

Coordinates

Position (RA):0 45 55.45
Position (Dec):-29° 34' 55.07"
Field of view:30.72 x 29.27 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 0.1° right of vertical
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View in WorldWide Telescope

Colours & filters

BandTelescope
Optical
B
MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope
WFI
Optical
V
MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope
WFI
Optical
R
MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope
WFI
Infrared
I
MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope
WFI

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