This image was taken May 21 and 22 by NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer. The image was made from data gathered by the far ultraviolet channel of the spacecraft camera during the mission's "first light" milestone. It shows about 400 celestial objects, appearing in blue, detected over a 3-minute, 20-second period in the constellation Hercules.
The Galaxy Evolution Explorer's first light images are dedicated to the crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia. The Hercules region was directly above Columbia when it made its last contact with NASA Mission Control on February 1, over the skies of Texas.
The Galaxy Evolution Explorer launched on April 28 on a mission to map the celestial sky in the ultraviolet and determine the history of star formation in the universe over the last 10 billion years.