Early galaxy is the faintest ever ob­served

Sky at Night Magazine - - BULLETIN - http://hub­ble­site.org

The faintest ever galaxy in the early Uni­verse has been spot­ted, its light dat­ing from 13.1 bil­lion years ago. But the galaxy has one unique prop­erty in com­par­i­son to all of its known con­tem­po­raries – it’s com­pletely nor­mal.

“Other most dis­tant ob­jects are ex­tremely bright and prob­a­bly rare com­pared to other gal­ax­ies. We think this is much more rep­re­sen­ta­tive of gal­ax­ies of the time,” says Austin Hoag, the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Davis grad­u­ate stu­dent who led the dis­cov­ery.

The galaxy, MACS1423-z7p64, was ob­served at a red­shift of 7.6 by the Hub­ble Space Tele­scope and the Keck Ob­ser­va­tory in Hawaii. It dates from a time at which the fog of hy­dro­gen left over from the Big Bang was be­ing cleared away by the light of the first stars. Un­for­tu­nately, this fog hides much of the light from these early gal­ax­ies, mean­ing that un­til now only un­usu­ally bright ones have been view­able. This galaxy, how­ever, was ob­serv­able as it was grav­i­ta­tion­ally lensed, mag­ni­fy­ing its bright­ness ten fold.

The aged galaxy sur­prised as­tronomers with its ap­par­ent nor­mal­ity

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