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back to article Ancient galaxies pose for the camera

The European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (aka ESO, or European Southern Observatory) has released a rather fetching snap of distant galaxies posing in the U-band - the boundary between visible light and ultraviolet - which shows some clusters of stars so old that they're seen "as they were …

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Dr Boffin

A perfect example of Nominative Determinism if ever I heard one

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19626322.300-feedback.html

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Quandry

I find these types of images the most interesting and yet equally the most boring images ever. It's truly amazing that what we are seeing is light which has travelled so far, and is so old it pre-dates so much time which the human brain can't even comprehend.

And yet, what can we *really* see? A few white pixels on a black background.

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Happy

VIMOS

Anyone care to explain why an instrument "designed for UV observations" is called the "Visible *Infra-red* Multi-Object Spectrograph"?

Scope change without a project rename? Acronym sounded better with an "I" in it? What?

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Paris Hilton

Urrrrrmmmmmmmmm

I like a deep space first thing in the morning.

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<claps>

I found that article more entertaining by reading it as "U-bend".

And more, much much more, from Mr Henri Boffin please.

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Gav
Alert

Mars rising on the cusp of something new

Oh oh. You know what this means?

That there billion times fainter, ba-jillion year old galaxy is bound to be messing with the events of my day. All our horoscopes are screwed up! Again!

I can't tell you how much this explains everything. We can only hope that Russell Grant is keeping careful notes on all this.

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Alien

A long time ago....

....in a galaxy, far, far away

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Paris Hilton

@VIMOS

For some reason "Visible Ultra-Violet Large Array" didn't appeal to them.

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Coat

@breakfast

but I wonder if Visible Ultra Large Violet Array would have gotten their attention?

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Happy

Welcome

To our u-band star overlords. I like the picture and don't find it boring at all. Thanks

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Anonymous Coward

ESA comes up with the GOODS

A juicy pun like that left hanging in the air? What gives? Standards are slipping at El Reg's Headline Department, I swear

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They could have at least...

circled a few or put little pointy arrows to highlight them!

Perhaps it's just my 45-year-old eyesight, but they don't look a lot different from the merely-a-few-millions-of-years-"old" stars I see most nights.

I presume the picture contains both the ancient and distant ones and a few of the closer, less ancient ones.

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@Jon Tocker

The stars in the photo have four spokes. You'll notice these are the largest, brights objects. That is because they are in the foreground.

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Alien

re: They could have at least...

Problem is they are ancient NOW but the light too is ancient. So left when the stars weren't ancient, the universe was just young.

Anyway, what did you expect? Some sort of kids-drawing style star? Stars made of wood (as per the three little pigs)?

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Thumb Up

Impressive show

I love those tiny galaxies in the picture - and to think that they travelled so much to reach us, it's mind boggling. And the resolution of this image is "slightly" better than my 10" meade lx200gps :)

-t

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jon

infinty....

open the link, and download the [Full Res - TIFF: 6480 x 4239 ] pic! should be enough detail there.... :)

- and just think, EVERY dot is a galaxy, with thousands of stars, and planets round them....

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Coat

Joe Cooper

"The stars in the photo have four spokes"

Yes, Joe, this is an artefact introduced by the fact that the secondary mirror of the telescope is suspended in the telescope tube by a "spider" of four struts.

There's a copy of "Amateur Telescope Making" in the pocket - but you really need a warm coat when observing, so mine is adapted from one of the space-suit modules used in the moon missions.

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Pirate

Michael Dunn

And the reason why that happens is because the diffraction pattern is strong enough to appear.

so the brighter the star, the more visible the spokes.

And the galaxies aren't bright enough (contrasty enough, really, since the spokes appear for each dot and so merge each other out and share the overall brightness) to show spikes.

So the ones with spokes aren't distant galaxies.

Which is why Joe mentioned them.

I suspect he knows as much as you do about telescopes. Maybe more. He does at least know what it MEANS better than you.

Sheesh.

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