ESO unveils widest ever deep view of the sky

Incredible new infrared data will be made available to astronomers

Image credit: ESO/UltraVISTA team Acknowledgement: TERAPIX/CNRS/INSU/CASU

Region of the sky known as the COSMOS field in the constellation of Sextans. Image credit: ESO/UltraVISTA team

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ESO has released an image of the widest deep view of the sky ever captured using infrared light.

Created by the VISTA telescope the composite, made up of over 6000 exposures, encompasses more than 200,000 galaxies.

In the image, the large white objects in the foreground are stars in the Milky Way.

The fainter white dots are more distant galaxies, the furthest appearing as red.

VISTA was trained on the COSMOS field in the constellation of Sextans, an area of sky that appears blank but has already yielded great results for other telescopes, most notably the Hubble Space Telescope.

As most starlight that reaches Earth from deep space is in the infrared spectrum, VISTA, a sensitive infrared telescope, is very apt at collating images of distant galaxies.

This picture is part of the ESO’S UltraVISTA survey, which is currently being made available as a resource for astronomers across the globe.

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With this data, astronomers hope to study the first galaxies, stellar dust and other remnants of early star formation.