January 16, 1996
Web posted at: 3:58 p.m. EST
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (CNN) -- Astronomers and enthusiasts at the American Astronomical Society meeting in San Antonio have been treated to images of galaxies no human has seen before. The pictures were produced by the Hubble Space Telescope.
The Hubble "Deep Field" view provides the deepest look ever into the universe, according to the Space Telescope Science Institute. Director Robert Williams said the images are a "treasure trove" because they depict perhaps the oldest galaxies captured on film. They are the "astronomical equivalent of the Dead Sea Scrolls," he said.
The pictures were made possible by aiming the Hubble Space Telescope at one target for 10 days. The long exposure revealed at least 1,500 galaxies in different stages of formation.
Astronomers said the shapes and colors of some of the galaxies have never been seen before. In addition to the classic spiral and elliptical shapes, the image shows galaxies that look like beach balls, footballs, or long, thin cylinders.
The shapes could give clues to the evolution of the universe, scientists said.
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