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Hubble Finds Possible Oldest Object Ever Seen

The Hubble Telescope's new set of Frontier Fields images includes a galaxy some 13-billion light-years away, which makes it a candidate for the most distant object ever seen. Clara Moskowitz reports 

The Hubble Telescope’s famous "Deep Field" photo showed that seemingly empty patches of space are actually chock full of far-away stuff. The original 1996 picture revealed thousands of galaxies in the apparently blank spot of sky.
 
Now Hubble has done it again with a new set of what are called "Frontier Fields" images that look farther in the universe than any previous pictures.
 
These images reveal a treasure trove of previously unseen galaxies, including one that may be among the most distant objects ever seen. The candidate galaxy, called Abell2744 Y1, appears to lie more than 13 billion light-years away, meaning its light has taken 13 billion years to reach us. This object appears to have formed when the universe was only about 650 million years old.
 
Such primordial galaxies may be different from the types that tend to form now. For instance, Abell2744 Y1 is about 30 times smaller than our Milky Way, yet it's creating 10 times as many stars as our galaxy does. That is to say, it did, when the universe was new.

—Clara Moskowitz

[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]

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