Hubble Space Telescope achieves deepest cosmic view yet

The positions of the seven galaxies in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, a patch of sky one-tenth the diameter
of the full Moon. Their redshifts ("z") are indicated. One object (z=11.9) is likely a record-breaker

Hubble astronomers have observed deeper into space than ever before.

In doing so, they have identified six new galaxies of stars that formed just a few hundred million years after the Big Bang itself.

The study also updates a distance estimate for a seventh galaxy, placing it further back in time than any object previously identified.

Called UDFj-39546284, this is seen when the cosmos was less than 3% of its current age.

The new Hubble telescope investigation was led by Richard Ellis from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and colleagues at Edinburgh University, Jim Dunlop and Ross McLure.

Its significance is that it gives us the clearest insight into how some of the earliest years of cosmic history unfolded.

The data supports the notion that the first galaxies assembled their constituent stars in a smooth fashion - not in some sudden burst.

- BBC.co.uk


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