The 12 Frontier Fields will greatly expand upon our knowledge of the earliest galaxies to form in the universe. These images of the distant universe (in space and time), will provide us with a sneak peek at the first billion years of the universe. So how were these fields chosen?
The Frontier Fields program was sketched out by the Frontier Fields team in the earliest phases of a recommendation process. Much can change in the process of going from an initial recommendation to a final program. The final program hinged upon finding the best galaxy clusters to anchor the Frontier Fields program. Team members deliberated between several different galaxy clusters, nominated by both those directly involved in the program and the broader astronomical community, before settling on the final candidates.
Special consideration was given to galaxy clusters that
maximize magnification and fit within Hubble’s view;
were located in “clean” locations on the sky;
were observable by ground-based observatories in the Northern and Southern hemispheres.
The Frontier Fields team, with input from the broader astronomical community, was able to narrow down the galaxy cluster candidates to the six chosen for the program. Although it was not possible to select six clusters ...