If you hold a pin at arm’s length up in the air, the head of the pin covers approximately the amount of sky that appears in the Hubble Deep Field. The iconic 1995 image is crowded, not because it’s a broad swath of sky but because it’s a broad swath of time. The Hubble Deep Field is more than 12 billion light-years deep…

What makes the Hubble Deep Field an atypical core sample is that rather than observing the material as it is now, the telescope collected images of galaxies as they appeared millions and billions of years ago. Since light can only travel so fast, the telescope is a peephole into the history of the universe.

From Vox, learn why the Hubble Space Telescope‘s photo was such an incredible, positive influence on the act of sharing data within the scientific community.

On this site: More Hubble videos, including The Beauty of Space Photography and the largest, sharpest image ever taken of the Andromeda Galaxy.

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