Hubble surveys of the distant universe after HDF
The Hubble Deep Field and its stunning views of faraway galaxies opened new cosmic territory for exploration, prompting several Hubble deep-space surveys. Astronomers took advantage of the new science instruments installed aboard Hubble during periodic servicing missions to study galaxies in the early universe.
These galaxy census observations were made in a variety of wavelengths, from ultraviolet to visible to near-infrared. Hubble also teamed up with other telescopes to make coordinated, multi-wavelength studies of the distant cosmos. Telescopes gazed ever deeper into many regions of space to help astronomers understand the far-flung universe.
Hubble's deepest surveys of the far universe:
Distant galaxy surveys made by Hubble and other observatories:
Looking beyond Hubble
Studies of the distant universe are ongoing and will continue to improve as the years pass. In particular, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), due to launch in 2018, will have an unprecedented infrared view of the universe. Because the most distant galaxies are best seen in infrared light, deep surveys are high on the priority list for this new observatory. Astronomers are always striving to push back the limits of our observations and uncover new knowledge.