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News Release 359 of 964

September 21, 2006 10:00 AM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2006-12

NASA's Hubble Finds Hundreds of Young Galaxies in Early Universe

September 21, 2006: Astronomers analyzing two of the deepest views of the cosmos made with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have uncovered a gold mine of galaxies, more than 500 that existed less than a billion years after the Big Bang. This sample represents the most comprehensive compilation of galaxies in the early universe, researchers said. The discovery is scientifically invaluable for understanding the origin of galaxies, considering that just a decade ago early galaxy formation was largely uncharted territory. Astronomers had not seen even one galaxy that existed when the universe was a billion years old, so finding 500 in a Hubble survey is a significant leap forward for cosmologists. This Hubble Space Telescope image shows 28 of the more than 500 young galaxies the researchers uncovered in their analysis of two Hubble surveys.

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Credit: NASA, ESA, R. Bouwens and G. Illingworth (University of California, Santa Cruz)