This new image of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF) 2012 campaign reveals a previously unseen population of seven faraway galaxies, which are observed as they appeared in a period 350 million to 600 million years after the Big Bang (Photo : NASA, ESA, R. Ellis (Caltech), and the UDF 2012 Team)
Using the famed Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have uncovered seven primordial galaxies that formed when the universe was still an infant. According to the observations, it seems that galaxy production has slowed down since the beginning of time.
"Of course, the most distant object is interesting, but it's the census - the seven objects - that gives us the first indication of the population of objects in the heart of this... era," said Richard Ellis who led the study.
The galaxies' average age of 13-billion years makes this finding one of the earliest glimpses into our past ever produced. One of the galaxies is 13.3-billion light-years away, making it one of the oldest ever found. The light from this portion of time is just arriving at Earth, making this a proverbial time machine.
The light from these galaxies began as ultraviolet light, and was eventually stretched out to infrared wavelengths due to the expansion of the universe. This 'redshifted' light stretches the limits of the Hubble Space Telescope, but the astronomers still believe they have a definitive find.
"Our study has taken the subject forward in two ways," Ellis explained. "First, we have used Hubble to make longer exposures than previously. The added depth is essential to reliably probe the early period of cosmic history. Second, we have used Hubble's available color filters very effectively to more precisely measure galaxy distances."
Keep in mind that these galaxies are not absolute (due to the 'redshifting' of light explained earlier), but there's a good chance us humans just got a good glimpse at where we came from.
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