Seeing the incredible images from the Hubble today really perplexed me. I am quite sure this is basic Physics, however I cannot find the answer anywhere on the Interweb :( My questions all have to do with peering farther back in to time, by collecting light photons in some different or improved manner. So... To observe objects we gather individual photons of light which are emitted from a source and build them into an image. - How does the massive distance from the point of collection to the object and the slow speed at which we can collect less incoming photons due to the distance affect how the image is recreated: - Are the individual photons streaming to our collector in a single line since they are coming from such a small pinpoint in the universe and so infrequently? - When we use a bigger collector of photons to peer deeper, are we seeing more photons side by side to build a image, or are we seeing the straight stream of photons over a longer period of time? - If the emitting object radiates light photons out in every single direction continuously, how is it that the massive distance doesn't spread out those photons as they get farther away from the object - example: think really long pins in a tennis ball. As the distance increases away from the ball the distance from the head to head of each pin would grow. Is this why a wider collector gather more photons and would somehow see a deeper image???(really confused now :) What in the method of the collection of light photons with better equipment affects our ability to look deeper into space - this is the question. Forgive me if this is too elementary for this site and if so I would really appreciate a link to the right site!