Transcripts of 13921_Roman_Simulated_UDF_1080

[Music Throughout] In 2004, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope changed astronomy forever when astronomers revealed the first ultra-deep field image. Created with more than 270 hours of observation over the course of a year, it is our farthest ever visible-light image of the universe. This tiny window revealed thousands of galaxies in a seemingly empty patch of sky. We can’t see any farther in visible light because the unrelenting expansion of space has stretched galaxies’ ultraviolet glow into red light. More distant galaxies are mostly detectable in infrared. That’s why, in 2009, Hubble captured an infrared ultra-deep field image that probed even deeper into the same spot. It remains one of the most distant images ever made, and a key source of information about some of the universe’s early history. The Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope will have infrared resolution and capabilities similar to Hubble, but each image will cover 200 times the area of sky. A potential Roman ultra-deep field could be far faster to capture, yet cover hundreds of times as much of the early universe. To further explore this potential, a team of researchers has created a simulated ultra-deep field image. The entire image contains about one square degree of sky, or about 5 full moons. Even a single Roman field of view contains a staggering number of distant galaxies, each one filled with billions of stars. This computer-generated image represents the distribution of galaxies that researchers expect to find, based on the existing Hubble observations. It will help astronomers determine how best to conduct an actual Roman ultra-deep field and anticipate the measurements and conclusions they might be able to make. Because light travels at a finite speed, distant images are also snapshots earlier in time. Ultra-deep field images reveal a time from about 200 million to 1 billion years after the big bang. Roman’s image would be the largest observation of its kind for this time period and could reveal key features in the adolescent universe, including rare ‘infant’ galaxies that eventually evolve into mature galaxies like our own Milky Way. With Roman set to launch by 2027, this simulated ultra-deep field image is just one example of the fantastic results this upcoming mission could bring by the end of the decade. [NASA]