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Space Science

Hubble Sees Tribe of Baby Galaxies 13+ Billion Light Years Away 60

Posted by Soulskill
from the pretty-pictures dept.
The Bad Astronomer writes "Using Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have spotted seven galaxies that are all over 13 billion light years away... including one that appears to be a record breaker at a staggering 13.3+ billion light years distant. That one is seen as it was only 380 million years after the Big Bang. This observation reaches into the era of the young cosmos when stars were first forming, and allows astronomers to better understand what the Universe was like back then — a time we know very little about."
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Hubble Sees Tribe of Baby Galaxies 13+ Billion Light Years Away

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  • Waiting for JWST (Score:5, Interesting)

    by relikx (1266746) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @06:38PM (#42266445)
    It's not too surprising that Hubble is hitting the upper reaches of its capabilities but this peering back towards the beginning is nothing short of fascinating. With so many other 'younger' galaxies potentially out there and currently hidden from sight is motivation to keep this research up and get JWST up and running.

    Hopefully the James Webb Space Telescope will not get way off track in budget and schedule again (cautiously optimistic), slated for 2018 launch currently but in any case this is another example of the more we find out, the more we realize we don't know.
  • by MozeeToby (1163751) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @06:41PM (#42266469)

    Just the fact that they exist can tell us a lot about conditions of the very early universe, there was a time when we though galaxies would take much longer than 300 million years to form. So, any theory about the conditions of the early universe needs to allow for large, complex features such as these galaxies to form. I would think spectroscopy would also be able to tell you the ratios of elements that exist in those early galaxies, though I wouldn't expect any surprises there it's still worth taking a look.

    I'm no astronomer; if I can come up with a couple thoughts I'm sure someone in the field would be able to dream up a dozen more.

  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @07:32PM (#42266913) Homepage

    astronomers have spotted seven galaxies that are all over 13 billion light years away

    Far be it for me to question the Bad Astronomer, but is that right? From the article:

    Since the Universe is 13.7 billion years old, this means we are seeing this galaxy as it was only about 380 million years after the Big Bang.

    The observable universe is over 90 billion l.y. across (45 billion l.y. radius) because space has expanded since the Big Bang. So aren't these galaxies a lot more than 13.7 billion light years away?

    Interestingly the original spacetelescope.org article (second link in the summary) makes absolutely no mention of distance, only of elapsed time.

  • by alostpacket (1972110) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @08:10PM (#42267287) Homepage

    I dont know that much about it, but I suspect it has to do with comoving distance http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comoving_distance [wikipedia.org]

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