How Big is the Universe? | NASA’s Hubble Deep Field Image

Jun 23, 2015

Have you ever wondered: “how big is the universe?” NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured an image that has forever changed the way we look at the universe and that image is called the Hubble Deep Field image.

Join us as we explore this amazing series of images including the Ultra Deep Field Image and delve into why it’s considered by some to be the most important and mind-blowing photo ever taken!

Seeing this image for the first time was a huge catalyst for my love of science and astronomy as a kid and greatly influenced my philosophy of life while fuelling my imagination. I’m hoping it can do the same for kids of the next generation and for adults alike.

This is a bit of a departure from our usual educational preschool videos, but I’ll be continuing to fill in the gap with videos about math and more basic science topics so I hope you’ll come back soon to see what we have in store next.

You can download a high resolution copy of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field Image here:

The original Hubble Deep Field Image can be downloaded here:

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This video is transcribed for the hearing-impaired and for translation into any language.


23 comments on “How Big is the Universe? | NASA’s Hubble Deep Field Image

  • Thanks so much for sharing my video! I chose this topic as my first science video because this image catalysed in me an immense passion for science and started my journey towards skepticism and atheism when I first came across it in my high school science class. I hope it can produce for you the same sense of awe and wonder that it did for me all those years ago.



    Creator, Brain Candy TV

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  • Thanks mombird! Agreed! The wonders of the real world are so much more awe-inspiring than anything I’ve ever found in religions. I’m so happy you like the video. 🙂

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  • So…

    Is the reason all the galaxies in the Deep Field image seem to be crammed so close together simply because the light is from 13 billion years ago when the galaxies actually were crammed so much closer together than they are now? In other words, when we peer that deep into the outer reaches of space, are we actually peering toward the center of the universe?

    It’s really hard to get my mind around such vast quantities of time and space, and it’s truly humbling to realize just how much we have discovered in recent years.

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  • 6
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    In other words, when we peer that deep into the outer reaches of space, are we actually peering toward the center of the universe?

    Not only that but we are peering at the early stages of the universe. That’s the part I find the most mind boggling.

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  • 7
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    Thank you Michael for making the video. Since I was a child I have always been fascinated by astronomy and space exploration. I’ve seen the Hubble deep field image before but your video really puts it in its proper perspective.

    The idea of using a letter on a penny to give one a measure of scale was brilliant. It is a simple and effective way to make the viewer visualize the huge number of galaxies (and thus stars) there are in just a tiny portion of the universe. The resulting effect is just mind boggling!!

    The universe is truly awesome.

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  • My favorite I think:

    “Space is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist, but that’s just peanuts to space.”

    Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

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  • Yep some 8 minutes for photons to reach the Earth’s surface, once released from the sun. How long the photon took in its journey to the surface of the sun from the centre part of the sun where it was created by nuclear fusion, is reckoned to be somewhere in the region of 100,000 to 500, 000 Earth years. Thereafter a mere 8 minutes to Earth. Yes the universe is big, but our particular part is pretty dam spectacular in my view.

    As my first exhibit I present the planet Earth, yer ‘onor.

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  • Hi godzillatemple,

    I’m not sure they are any more closely cramped together. Most are pretty close in terms of their distances to each other as they form in clusters (gravitationally bound) and you are also looking through many galaxies not one plane of them many just look like stars because they are so far away. They chose a spot that was fairly free of stars in our Milky Way so they could see back that far. You could pretty much multiply a similar amount all around us and that is only the local bubble in which the light has had time to reach us. So no one knows exactly how big it all is.

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  • 12
    Michael says:

    These galaxies vary widely in their distance from us so they’re not really clumped as close together as the image might make you think. Astronomers used distance data to create a 3D representation of the Ultra Deep Field and you can see an animated flyby here: We’ve taken other deep field images in other directions and the galaxy distribution seems to look the same in all directions – lending to the idea of a homogeneous universe with around 100 billion galaxies.

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  • Hello,

    It is the case that we are seeing a patch of the universe as it was some 13.2 billion years ago when we look at the furthest galaxies in the HUDF. It is also the case that around that time the average distance between galaxies was about 1/10 of what it is now. Note: the ratio of average distances between galaxies now to then is a decent definition of the scale factor. So the scale factor was about 0.1 at that time.

    Also note that you would not be peering at a center nor toward a center as there is no center. Rather you are just looking at a patch that is more densely packed compared to today.

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  • The UDF shows galaxies distributed throughout a large expanse of both space and time. It is an image of a patch ranging from the time the images were taken (the present) and spanning back to as early as 13.2 billion years ago. It is a bit messier having to account for time.

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  • Meanwhile we are about to be treated to a series of new images nearer to home!

    The science team on the American New Horizons mission to Pluto has released two colour views of the dwarf planet and its biggest moon, Charon.

    They were made by combining pictures from the probe’s high-resolution, “black and white” camera, Lorri, and its lower-resolution, colour imager known as Ralph.

    The difference in hue between Pluto and Charon is clear.

    But what catches the eye are four dark spots on the 2,300km-wide dwarf planet.

    Each spot is about 500km across. Quite why they should be so similar in size and spacing is not clear.

    Their dominant placing is on the hemisphere that New Horizons will not see during its close flyby on 14 July.

    However, there should be ample opportunity to study them in the days leading up to the encounter.

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  • Why don’t we see this sort of thing on discovery science Foxtel Chanel, all we get in Australia is endless reruns of how it’s made. You may have to install a faint image of Jesus in one of those galaxy’s and maybe, just maybe they will run it at 3. in the morning…

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  • Numinous.


    Utterly and completely mind-blowing.

    And to think that some of our cretinous politicians, school boards, and clergy want us to close our eyes and turn our backs on the triumphs of human intelligence that have given us the privilege of seeing this and attempting to understand it.

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  • The universe is not unimaginably big – its unimaginably SMALL.
    There are different levels to existence in this universe. What I mean by levels is different sizes. The smallest level we know of so far is the Quantum Wave level. Then there’s the Quantum Particle level, followed by the level of atoms. After atoms there is the microscopic level.

    And then there’s our level. So, why would we assume that ours is the last or the biggest level? I’m not talking about a magical realm, but if we follow the line of evidence (all the levels beneath us), surely there must be more levels bigger than ours that must adhere to the physical laws in each level.

    Just as the quantum levels, and the atomic and the microscopic levels, make up us and all that we see in our level, then we must be a microscopic part of something in a bigger level.

    It is so easy to see how the red and white blood cells flowing through our veins can be compared to the billions of galaxies flowing through our universe.

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  • 22
    Michael says:

    Ha ha, thanks for the suggestion, Zula. This is why I love YouTube so much. Kids these days watch more YouTube than traditional TV so I hope to be able to reach some of them with interesting science videos to spark their interest in learning more about the world and universe around them.

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  • 23
    Michael says:

    Thanks Sue, I’m glad you liked the video. This is why I’m so excited to produce more science videos for my YouTube channel. 🙂

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