TECH

Stunning New Image Of Space Reveals New Galaxies

01/04/2015 12:33 BST | Updated 01/04/2015 12:59 BST

universe

This image might look like the edge of the known universe, but actually it's a stunning new view of our galaxy and beyond.

Captured using the ESA's two space telescopes, Planck and Herschel, the composite image for the first time lifts the lid on a period in the Universe's expansion when stars, galaxies and galactic clusters were all forming at the same time.

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NASA's JPL laboratory was able to compile the data from both telescopes by creating custom software that could analyse the images.

The image stretches back an astonishing 10-11 billion years and unveils around 200 new galaxies that can now be examined in detail.

Many of them were in fact magnified by other galaxies thanks to a phenomenon known as gravitational lensing. This is caused when a galaxy is so large that it actually distorts space and time around it, including light.

The result is that galaxies which otherwise would have been hidden behind the galaxy are in fact revealed through gravitational lensing.