From The Times
January 6, 2010
The Hubble Space Telescope has peered farther back in space and time than ever before to see baby galaxies that may have formed as little as 500 million years after the big bang.
Astronomers estimate that three newly identified galaxies, which are small and compact and glow a striking blue, are about 13.2 billion light years away. This means that their starlight was emitted about 13.2 billion years ago, when the Universe was only 4 per cent of its present age.
“With the rejuvenated Hubble and its new instruments, we are now entering uncharted territory that is ripe for new discoveries,” said Garth Illingworth, of the University of California, Santa Cruz, who led the survey team. He told the American Astronomical Society conference, in Washington, that the updated Hubble observatory provided an opportunity to “push back the frontiers”.
Further clues to the early Universe have been provided by another image, which combines pictures from Hubble’s new camera with a survey from 2004. It gives a panoramic view of the sky with about 7,500 galaxies at different stages of evolution.
The earliest galaxies detected by Dr Illingworth’s team were pinpointed in August last year, following the installation of the telescope’s new Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3). The instrument was pointed at a section of sky known as the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, which was first surveyed in visible light in 2004 to provide one of the telescope’s most iconic images — dark sky teeming with more than 10,000 galaxies. The WFC3 instrument has now repeated the exercise for infrared light. The first analysis of the new 2009 Hubble Ultra Deep Field found objects that were formed about 600 million years after the big bang. Dr Illingworth’s team has now found evidence that three galaxies in the image date to about 500 million years after the dawn of the Universe.
Hey anything goes BUT friendly not foey!!
2 posts • Page 1 of 1
It just proves how small and insignificant we really are. I wonder how many planets are looking out and saying what that blob of light over there when they are looking at us.