New NASA snapshot of 10-billion-year-old galaxies in vivid color

Colorful panoramic image of the universe captured by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. NASA, ESA, H. Teplitz and M. Rafelski (IPAC/Caltech), A. Koekemoer (STScI), R. Windhorst (Arizona State University), and Z. Levay (STScI)

This image from the Hubble Space Telescope captures our cosmos at its most colorful.

NASA released the new panorama looking deep and far into the universe. It shows about 10,000 multi-colored galaxies, and for the first time, includes ultraviolet light, which is normally not visible to the human eye.

Several filters were used to sample various wavelengths of light, and the bright colors result from assigning different a hue to each wavelength. Ultraviolet light shows up in the photo as bright baby blue.

The spinning galaxies are about five to ten billion years old, a period in which most of the stars in the universe were born. NASA explains that the image shows these distant galaxies in their most primitive stages due to the vast amount of time it takes their light to reach us, and therefore provides researchers with a "missing link" to help them understand how stars are formed.

The photo is actually a composite pieced together from more than 800 images taken by the 24-year-old Hubble between 2003 to 2012.

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