Thousands of distant, primordial galaxies of various shapes and sizes shine in infrared light in a recently published image from the Hubble Space Telescope.
The oldest galaxies they are about 13 billion years old and date back only a few hundred million years Big Bang. By looking at these galaxies in ultraviolet light, scientists can discover what chemicals are inside those galaxies – information that is key to understanding how galaxies form and evolve. But there is a problem with this method: that primordial ultraviolet light is absorbed before it reaches us.
But scientists can look at many, many galaxies that are only slightly younger, 11 billion years old. And that’s what astronomers have done with Hubble Space Telescopehelping to create this image of a very old, very distant crop of galaxies.
Connected: The largest infrared image of the Hubble Space Telescope so far looks back 10 billion years
The image is part of a recent study called UVCANDELS. During about 10 days of observation, Hubble recorded about 140,000 galaxies. Some of them are visible in a recently published image – numerous types of galaxies, viewed from different angles.
UVCANDELS provides a unique “insight into the ongoing formation of stars in galaxies, near and far,” said Xin Wang, an astronomer from Caltech who presented the results on June 14 at a conference of the American Astronomical Society in California.
UVCANDELS is a continuation of another study, CANDELS, which examined infrared and reddish visible light. Hubble is back, with ultraviolet and purple visible light, parts of the sky that CANDELS reviewed, including the one in the recently published image, known as the Extended Groth Strip. By combining layers from both studies, the scientists created this new image.
This research allows scientists to look back to the era of the early universe known as regionalization. During this era, which began with the formation of the first galaxies, the first light sources began to break through the cosmic veil, bringing an end to The “dark age” of the universe.“
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