The Hubble Space Telescope has been blowing our minds for 23 years now, and it's still going strong. Just this week, the 12-ton instrument gave us an unprecedented view of the picturesque Ring Nebula, revealing that it's more like a jelly doughnut than a bagel.
In honor of Hubble's growing portfolio of deep-space masterpieces, here's a look at one of its most humbling and awe-inspiring portraits of all time: an award-winning IMAX short film that spans 9 billion years of cosmic history. Using a huge Hubble image of nearly 30,000 galaxies, scientists calculated the intergalactic distances with a technique called photometric redshift. They then turned the photo into "a 3-D flight through the field of galaxies, taking the audience on a trip into the distant past." Since the light from faraway galaxies can take eons to reach Earth, this really is like looking back through time.
As usual with these kinds of videos, full-screen mode is recommended:
Related Hubble telescope stories on MNN:
- Hubble telescope discovers 'polluted' dead stars
- Astronomy teacher finds Hubble's hidden treasure
- Hubble spies deepest-ever view of the universe
- The Hubble Space Telescope's best work [Photos]