The 1995 Hubble photo that changed astronomy

  • Loading...
  • Published on:  Wednesday, September 21, 2016
  • The Hubble Deep Field, explained by the man who made it happen.

    Subscribe to our channel!

    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.

    Robert Williams was the director of the Hubble’s science institute back in 1995, and it was his decision to attempt a deep field observation with the telescope. Previous calculations had indicated that Hubble would not be able to detect very distant galaxies, but Williams figured they’d never know unless they tried.

    His team chose a completely dark part of the sky, in order to see beyond the stars of the Milky Way, and programmed Hubble to stare at that spot for 10 days. It was unusual to use precious observing time to point the telescope at nothing in particular, but that’s what they did.

    "We didn’t know what was there, and that was the whole purpose of the observation, basically — to get a core sample of the universe," Williams said, borrowing the concept of the "core sample" from the earth sciences.

    "You do the same thing if you're trying to understand the geology of the Earth: Pick some typical spot to drill down to try to understand exactly what the various layers of the Earth are and what they mean in terms of its geologic history."

    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.

    Click here to download the Hubble Deep Field images: is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out

    Check out our full video catalog:
    Follow Vox on Twitter:
    Or on Facebook:


  • Fatheh Cheema
    Fatheh Cheema  7 hours ago


  • Fred
    Fred  2 days ago

    The universe must be teeming with life.

  • fire tiger white cosmic beam

    Still blurry, just wait for the Webb telescope

  • TheAznative101
    TheAznative101  3 days ago +1

    I hope the day comes or is here we place telescopes on stationary locations. IE the far side of the moon. Or find a way to "park" them in a segment of space.

  • DD826
    DD826  3 days ago +1

    they usually spend OUR taxes on their projects and keep it to themselves until they get bored with it, then release it

  • DD826
    DD826  3 days ago

    lol Al Gore was more worried about year 2000 coming

  • Philbyd 123
    Philbyd 123  4 days ago

    Saw it at IMAX.awesome,thanks Hubble

  • Nisal Jay
    Nisal Jay  5 days ago


  • Johnny Who
    Johnny Who  5 days ago

    Actually, the Hubble doesn't take photos

  • tudorjason
    tudorjason  7 days ago

    I disagree with the personal belief of astronomers of the past that astronomy is intellectual property. It is knowledge that should be shared universally. And luckily that sentiment is true with NASA...well, as far as we know anyway.

  • Musicologo elLibro

    Ha Sido un telescopio muy importante estos años pronto llegará el James wedd telecopio ampliando NUESTRO CONOCIMIENTO.

  • Scott Havens
    Scott Havens  7 days ago

    Are photos weighed ? A ton is a lot huh.
    I love how it didn't work but the fix that costs as much ...cough. worked and we all danced.
    Cause it worked.. lol thx for the money sucka.
    Like public schools we all scream spend more money .. better believe it.
    Like buying a Harley Davidson then spending as much to make it work.
    We Americans are doopid

  • Ander Ander
    Ander Ander  7 days ago

    Makes it seemed pretty insignificant who won the Super Bowl or who caught a ball or who can run the fastest doesn't it.?

  • Ander Ander
    Ander Ander  7 days ago

    I see Al Gore virtue-signaled even back then...

  • Kelvin James Cayabyab

    All these galaxies, and you think we're alone?

  • suman c
    suman c  7 days ago

    Brahma the creator of Brahmand 8000 years ago.

  • Hanaa A.A
    Hanaa A.A  7 days ago

    I want to translate this vid to Arabic .

  • Mario Mäelt
    Mario Mäelt  7 days ago

    you guys are so creative! inspiring

  • Luke Schneider
    Luke Schneider  7 days ago

    If space is a vacuum, then there is nothing between the galaxies but... NOTHING.... so... If NOTHING separates two galaxies from each other, then they must be... very CLOSE! 😜

    MISS CARSDEN  7 days ago

    The Hubble "telescope" does not take photos people. It transmits data such as numerical information not photos!!! Search it up for yourself it's not difficult. Unbelievable!!!