The Sciences

Deepest Space: Hubble Spots the Most Distant Galaxy Ever Seen

80beatsBy Andrew MosemanJan 27, 2011 3:22 PM

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Its' time for another mind-blowing, record-breaking discovery by the Hubble Space Telescope. This time, it's creeping closer than ever toward the beginning of the universe. From Phil Plait:

Astronomers have just announced they have discovered what may be the most distant galaxy ever seen, smashing the previous record holder. This galaxy is at a mind-crushing distance of 13.2 billion light years from Earth, making it not just the most distant galaxy but also the most distant extant object ever detected!

...

Named UDFj-39546284, the galaxy is seen as it was just 480 million years after the Universe itself formed! The previous record holder — which was announced just last October — was 13.1 billion light years away. This new galaxy beats that by 120 million light years, a substantial amount. Mind you, these galaxies formed not long after the Big Bang, which happened 13.73 billion years ago. We think the very first galaxies started forming 200 – 300 million years after the Bang; if that’s correct then we won’t see any galaxies more than about 13.5 billion light years away. Going from 13.1 to 13.2 billion light years represents a big jump closer to that ultimate limit!

For plenty more about this, check out the rest of Phil's post at Bad Astronomy

. Related Content: Bad Astronomy: How Deep Is the Universe?

Bad Astronomy: Galaxy Cluster at the Edge of the Universe

80beats: Planck Telescope Searchers the Super-Cold Universe, Finds Neat Stuff

Image: NASA, ESA

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