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  • FAINT COMPACT GALAXY IN THE EARLY UNIVERSE

This is a Hubble Space Telescope view of a very massive cluster of 
galaxies, MACS J0416.1-2403, located roughly 4 billion light-years away 
and weighing as much as a million billion suns. The cluster's immense 
gravitational field magnifies the image of galaxies far behind it, in a phenomenon called gravitational lensing.  

The inset is an image of an extremely faint and distant galaxy that 
existed only 400 million years after the big bang. Hubble captured it 
because the gravitational lens makes the galaxy appear 20 times brighter than normal. The object is comparable in size to the Large Magellanic 
Cloud (LMC), a diminutive satellite galaxy of our Milky Way. It is rapidly making stars at a rate ten times faster than the LMC. The object might be the growing core of what was to eventually evolve into a full-sized galaxy. 
The research team has nicknamed the object Tayna, which means
    NASA, ESA, and L. Infante (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)
    FAINT COMPACT GALAXY IN THE EARLY UNIVERSE This is a Hubble Space Telescope view of a very massive cluster of galaxies, MACS J0416.1-2403, located roughly 4 billion light-years away and weighing as much as a million billion suns. The cluster's immense gravitational field magnifies the image of galaxies far behind it, in a phenomenon called gravitational lensing. The inset is an image of an extremely faint and distant galaxy that existed only 400 million years after the big bang. Hubble captured it because the gravitational lens makes the galaxy appear 20 times brighter than normal. The object is comparable in size to the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a diminutive satellite galaxy of our Milky Way. It is rapidly making stars at a rate ten times faster than the LMC. The object might be the growing core of what was to eventually evolve into a full-sized galaxy. The research team has nicknamed the object Tayna, which means "first-born" in Aymara, a language spoken in the Andes and Altiplano regions of South America.
  • HUBBLE AND SPITZER TEAM UP TO UNCOVER DISTANT GALAXIES.  

These two Hubble Space Telescope images reveal an array of faraway galaxies, many of 
which existed at least 12.9 billion years ago and earlier. The circles pinpoint the most distant galaxies.  

The images were taken simultaneously by two of Hubble's science instruments. The image at left, taken in near-infrared light by the Wide Field Camera 3, shows a very massive cluster of galaxies, called MACS J0416.1-2403, the large, bright galaxies at the center of the image. The cluster's immense gravitational field magnifies and brightens the images of faint galaxies far behind it, in a phenomenon called gravitational lensing.  

The image at right, taken in visible light by the Advanced Camera for Surveys, is a 
parallel field. This view reveals myriad galaxies that make up a general background population, not compacted into a galaxy cluster.  

Astronomers examined these Hubble images, along with observations taken in near-infrared light with the Spitzer Space Telescope, to determine the distances of the reddest-looking 
galaxies. Their light is stretched by the expansion of the universe. So the redder a 
galaxy looks, the farther away it is. These very dim objects may be more representative 
of the early universe, and offer new insight on the formation and evolution of the first 
galaxies.
    Credit: NASA, ESA, and L. Infante (Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile); Acknowledgement: NASA, ESA, and J. Lotz (STScI) and the HFF team
    HUBBLE AND SPITZER TEAM UP TO UNCOVER DISTANT GALAXIES. These two Hubble Space Telescope images reveal an array of faraway galaxies, many of which existed at least 12.9 billion years ago and earlier. The circles pinpoint the most distant galaxies. The images were taken simultaneously by two of Hubble's science instruments. The image at left, taken in near-infrared light by the Wide Field Camera 3, shows a very massive cluster of galaxies, called MACS J0416.1-2403, the large, bright galaxies at the center of the image. The cluster's immense gravitational field magnifies and brightens the images of faint galaxies far behind it, in a phenomenon called gravitational lensing. The image at right, taken in visible light by the Advanced Camera for Surveys, is a parallel field. This view reveals myriad galaxies that make up a general background population, not compacted into a galaxy cluster. Astronomers examined these Hubble images, along with observations taken in near-infrared light with the Spitzer Space Telescope, to determine the distances of the reddest-looking galaxies. Their light is stretched by the expansion of the universe. So the redder a galaxy looks, the farther away it is. These very dim objects may be more representative of the early universe, and offer new insight on the formation and evolution of the first galaxies.
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