Robert Fosbury ESO Emeritus Astronomer
The image on the left is a composite of over 3000 exposures of a small patch of sky with two of the cameras carried on the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and obtained over a period of ten years. The total exposure time of over two million seconds results in an image which shows galaxies in the very young universe that emitted the light we detect now more than 13 billion years ago. Hubble is a ‘time machine’ that allows us to see back to a time when the uni-verse was only about 450 million years old with most of the chemical elements that constitute our Earth yet to be forged in future generations of stars.
Bob Fosbury will describe some of the tools and procedures used to obtain the images of these extremely faint and distant objects with cameras on both space- and ground-based telescopes, which have revolutionised our view of the evolu-tion of the universe from the time of the Big Bang nearly 14 billion years ago. The same telescopes are being used to prepare for the search for life on earth-like planets orbiting other stars in our own galaxy, the Milky Way.