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A magnified young galaxy from about 500 million years after the Big Bang

20 September 2012


Stephanie Jouvel, Ole Høst, Ofer Lahav & Co-authors

Nature Letters, 489, 406–408 (2012)

An international team of astronomers have discovered the possibly most distant galaxy ever observed. The faint galaxy, found in deep observations taken with the Hubble Space Telescope, could only be detected since it is magnified by the gravitational field of a massive galaxy cluster located between us and the galaxy.

The distance to the galaxy was measured indirectly by its redshift of z=9.6, which UCL (P&A) astronomers Ole Host, Stephanie Jouvel and Ofer Lahav helped determine. Looking far away also means looking back in time, and the observed light was emitted when the Universe was very young, only about 500 million years old, about 4% of the  Universe's present age.

The discovery helps to shed light on how early and how rapid the first galaxies were formed.

A magnified young galaxy from about 500 million years after the Big Bang

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