A magnified young galaxy from about 500 million years after the Big Bang
20 September 2012
Stephanie Jouvel, Ole Høst, Ofer Lahav & Co-authors
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.