Jan
27
2011

Hubble views oldest galaxy

The great-great-grandfather of galaxies: This could be the oldest object in our universe.
The great-great-grandfather of galaxies: This could be the oldest object in our universe.Courtesy NASA/ESA/Garth Illingworth (UCSC)/Rychard Bouwens (UCSC/Leiden University)/HUDF09 Team
The Hubble Space Telescope has captured what astronomers are claiming is the oldest galaxy in the universe. Here's some of what NASA's Hubble website says about the discovery:

The farthest and one of the very earliest galaxies ever seen in the universe appears as a faint red blob in this ultra-deep–field exposure taken with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. This is the deepest infrared image taken of the universe. Based on the object's color, astronomers believe it is 13.2 billion light-years away.

The dim object is a compact galaxy of blue stars that existed 480 million years after the Big Bang, only four percent of the universe's current age. It is tiny and considered a building block of today's giant galaxies. Over one hundred such mini-galaxies would be needed to make up our Milky Way galaxy.

Think of that - the light from this object we're seeing now took 13.2 billion years to reach our eyes. That's mind-boggling. We're actually looking back in time. Anyway, the study which appears in the journal Nature, was led by Rychard Bouwens at the Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands, and Garth Illingworth, of the University of California, Santa Cruz. The tiny smudge of light will be further studied and confirmed when the infrared-optimized James Webb Space Telescope is up and running in 2014.

By the way, the Hubble Space Telescope is featured in one of five films at this year's Omnifest playing now through February 17th here at the Science Museum of Minnesota. Take it from me, the images in the film are quite spectacular and worth seeing.

LINKS
A different Hubble info site
Star Tribune story

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

TheVampirePrince's picture
TheVampirePrince says:

the hubble space telescope has captured the oldest galaxy of dijon mustard. Also, it gets it's name, hubble, from the material its made of, Hubble Bubbule pre chew bubble gum. the galaxy was made from an empty bag of crisps that turned into a quazar and made all the planets out of dijon mustard in the galaxy, there is one problem, this galaxy is made out of 947,433,112,403 billion years old mustard. The emporer that rules the Galaxy Overlord Tesco von Kartoffelnwoffeln and has the power to control the minds of all the Michael Jackson Clones in the multivers. this galaxy has a very big problem, with its old age come mobility issues, so all the planets are equipped with walking sticks, this is not enough though, please, please donate five litres of deodrant a month to support this elderly and disable galaxy

posted on Mon, 02/14/2011 - 7:07am

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