Photo: ESA & SPIRE Consortium & HerMES consortia
In 1986, astronomer Felix J. Lockman discovered a curious region in space where there is little neutral hydrogen gas. This region, called the Lockman Hole, provides a keyhole through which astronomers can observe distant galaxies.
Using the Herschel Space Observatory, scientists at the European Space Agency decided to take a peek through the Lockman Hole and found thousands of galaxies. Each dot you see is an entire galaxy containing billions of stars:
The galaxies seen in this image are all in the distant Universe and appear as they did 10–12 billion years ago. They are colour coded in blue, green, and red to represent the three wavebands used for Herschel’s observation. Those appearing in white have equal intensity in all three bands and are the ones forming the most stars. The galaxies shown in red are likely to be the most distant, appearing as they did around 12 billion years ago.
Just think about it.