The combination of HST and powerful new ground based instruments has led to a wealth of new data on the properties of very faint, distant galaxies. With counts, colors, and morphologies to the faintest limits yet achieved, the Hubble Deep Field (HDF) is now one of the key testing grounds for theories of galaxy evolution. The observations targeted a single 5.8 square arcminute high galactic latitude field, located within the HST continuous viewing zone. This field was observed for 10 days in late December 1995, and the data were released to the community at the 1996 January AAS meeting. Since then, astronomers from many institutions have contributed extensive followup observations, providing redshifts and infrared and radio imaging. Like other deep observations before them, the HDF observations provide combined constraints on cosmological curvature and on the formation and evolution of galaxies. However the combination of deep redshift surveys, colors, and morphologies to very faint limits qualitatively changes the constraints that can be placed on world models. We review progress in this area in the year since the HDF observations were obtained.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 1996