Hubble Spots Oldest, Furthest Galaxy

It was more than a few weeks ago that Kepler spotted the smallest exoplanet of the Milky Way. And Hubble now wants to take that to a whole new galaxy apparently. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has spotted the oldest and the most distant galaxy from Earth.

First encounter of the what kind?

According to Cnet, the small proto galaxy which is some 13.2 billion light years away and “just” 480 million years old was spotted through “deep field” images. These images were clicked by Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 which combines many optical and infrared exposures to reveal a cosmic core sample, thereby indicating galaxies from various distances.

Time period of Hubble's bubble

Hold your horses though; some careful analysis suggests that this can also be a cluster of “hot, young” stars that are a 100 times smaller than our very own galaxy. Astronomers feel that such small proto-galaxies combine to form larger and more obvious galaxies.

This galaxy wasn’t spotted in a jiffy although; it took around 41 hours of exposure and after combining the resulting infrared images that the faint object was spotted. Garth Illingworth, of the University of California at Santa Cruz says, "We can try and get more data and look for more of these 500-million-year-old galaxies, and we should be able to find some, but we won't be able to go to earlier times."

However, it seems that this can be possible once the James Webb Space Telescope which is an infrared observatory for studying the early universe launches later this decade.

Published Date: Jan 28, 2011 02:39 pm | Updated Date: Jan 28, 2011 02:39 pm