An image of a galaxy cluster taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope gives a remarkable cross-section of the Universe, showing objects at different distances and stages in cosmic history. They range from cosmic near-neighbors to objects seen in the early years of the Universe. The 14-hour exposure shows objects around a billion times fainter than can be seen with the naked eye.
Hubble's images might look flat, but this one shows a remarkable depth of field that lets us see more than halfway to the edge of the observable Universe. Most of the galaxies visible here are members of a huge cluster called CLASS B1608+656, which lies about five billion light-years away. But the field also contains other objects, both significantly closer and far more distant, including quasar QSO-160913+653228 which is so distant its light has taken nine billion years to reach us, two-thirds of the time that has elapsed since the Big Bang.
Photo credit: NASA, ESA
Note: For more information, see A Cross-Section of the Universe.