CCD Camera Images Deep Space
Astronomers at European Southern Observatory using the 2.2-m MPG/ESO telescope atop La Silla in Chile have combined nearly 50 hours of exposures at three wavelengths to produce a 36 x 34-arc-min image of deep space in the southern constellation Fornax. The image will enable scientists to investigate cosmic evolution back to approximately 2 billion years after the big bang.
Captured with the Wide Field Imager CCD camera, the image is not as deep as similar ones taken with the Hubble Space Telescope, but it features a field of view that is 200 times larger, encompassing more than 100,000 galaxies at various stages of development. The camera comprises a mosaic of four 2000 x 4000-pixel CCDs, and it accommodates up to 50 filters simultaneously. The researchers combined exposures acquired at 456, 540 and 652 nm to generate the composite image.
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