That picture above is the deepest and most detailed view of the universe ever captured. It's called XDF, or eXtreme Deep Field, and was created using Hubble Telescope data from 2003 and 2004. It combines ten years of NASA Hubble Space photographs of a single sky sample into one full-color historic view of the galaxies. Hubble pointed at this patch of the constellation Fornax for fifty days, with an exposure time of 2 million seconds. A dazzling trip back in time, the image reveals almost 5,500 galaxies that include Andromeda, spirals similar to the Milky Way, along with remnants of galactic collisions. According to NASA, the XDF reveals galaxies that go as far back as 13.2 billion years.
There's a video after the break describing how the shot was assembled; those interested in learning even more can participate in a Google+ webinar with the XDF team this Thursday, September 27th. Here's hoping that when NASA finally gets the James Webb Space Telescope going, we'll have an even deeper view into our galactic past.