NASA | Space Telescope Science Institute | 2011 Jan 26
Hubble finds a new contender for galaxy distance recordHow far is far? And, when do you know when you get there? This is not a Dr. Seuss riddle, but the ultimate "final frontier" confronting astronomers. We are on the cusp of seeing nearly as far as we ever can into the universe of stars and galaxies. The question can be better phrased: How young is young? And how do you know when you've seen the earliest objects that ever existed? That's because the farther we look into space the further back into time we see. We're accustomed to instantaneous communications on Earth, but starlight carries a roaming fee. It takes billions of years for information to reach us from the remote universe.
- [url=http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2011/05/image/a/]Hubble Ultra Deep Field 2009-2010 and UDFj-39546284[/url] [i](Credit: NASA, ESA, G. Illingworth (University of California, Santa Cruz), R. Bouwens (University of California, Santa Cruz, Leiden University), and the HUDF09 Team)[/i]
Now astronomers have pushed the Hubble Space Telescope to its limits by finding what they believe is the most distant object ever seen in the universe. Its light traveled 13.2 billion years to reach Hubble. The dim object is a compact galaxy of blue stars that existed 480 million years after the Big Bang, only four percent of the universe's current age. It is tiny. Astronomers were surprised to discover that these observations offer evidence that the rate at which the universe was forming stars grew precipitously in about a 200-million-year time span. This huge change in the rate of star birth means that if astronomers can probe a little further back in time they are going to see even more dramatic changes. This will require the power of the James Webb Space Telescope, the planned successor to Hubble, which will be launched later this decade.
ESA | Hubble European Information Center | 2011 Jan 26
Hubble Sees Farther Back in Time Than Ever Before
Carnegie Institute for Science | 2011 Jan 26
Astronomers find most distant galaxy candidate yet seen
University of California, Santa Cruz | 2011 Jan 26
Oldest galaxy is lone ranger
Nature News | 2011 Jan 26
Distant Galaxy Is Record Breaker
Science NOW | 2011 Jan 26
Olden Gaze: Galaxy in Hubble Image May Be the Most Distant Object Ever Seen
Scientific American | 2011 Jan 26
Another record breaker: ultra-deep image reveals ultra-distant galaxy
Bad Astronomy | 2011 Jan 26
Long Ago and Far, Far Away… Hubble Discovers Most Distant Galaxy Yet!
Universe Today | 2011 Jan 26
Hubble Finds Galaxy Beyond Key Benchmark
Wired Science | 2011 Jan 26
Galaxy formation in the reionization epoch as hinted by Wide Field Camera 3 observations of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field - Hao-Jing Yan et al
- Research in Astronomy and Astrophysics 10(9) 867 (Sept 2010) DOI: 10.1088/1674-4527/10/9/003
arXiv.org > astro-ph > arXiv:0910.0077 > 01 Oct 2009 (v1), 18 Jul 2010 (v3)