Peering deep into the early universe, this picturesque parallel field observation from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope reveals thousands of colourful galaxies swimming in the inky blackness of space. A few foreground stars from our own galaxy, the Milky Way, are also visible.
In October 2013, Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) and Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) began observing this portion of sky as part of the Frontier Fields programme. This spectacular skyscape was captured during the study of the giant galaxy cluster Abell 2744, otherwise known as Pandora’s Box. While one of Hubble’s cameras concentrated on Abell 2744, the other camera viewed this adjacent patch of sky near to the cluster.
Containing countless galaxies of various ages, shapes and sizes, this parallel field observation is nearly as deep as the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field. In addition to showcasing the stunning beauty of the deep universe in incredible detail, this parallel field — when compared to other deep fields — will help astronomers understand how similar the universe looks in different directions.