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.
The galaxy census is the most robust sample of galaxies ever found at these early epochs. The galaxies were seen in near-infrared light using Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3.
The colored squares in the main image outline the locations of the galaxies. Enlarged views of each galaxy are shown in the black-and-white images. The red lines mark each galaxy's location. The "redshift" of each galaxy is indicated below each box, denoted by the symbol "z." Redshift measures how much a galaxy's ultraviolet and visible light has been stretched to infrared wavelengths by the universe's expansion. The larger the redshift, the more distant the galaxy, and therefore the farther astronomers are seeing back in time.
One of the seven galaxies may be a distance breaker, observed at a redshift of 11.9. The galaxy is seen as it appeared 380 million years after the big bang, when the universe was less than 3 percent of its present age.
The HUDF 2012 observations were taken in August and September 2012.
The members of the UDF 2012 team are R. Ellis (California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.), B. Robertson (University of Arizona, Tucson), R. McLure and J. Dunlop (University of Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom), D. Stark (University of Arizona, Tucson), M. Ouchi (University of Tokyo, Japan), A. Koekemoer (Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.), M Cirasuolo (University of Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom), S. Charlot (Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Garching, Germany), V. Wild (University of St. Andrews, Scotland, United Kingdom), and S. Furlanetto (University of California, Los Angeles).