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News Release 23 of 82

January 5, 2010 10:30 AM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-2010-02

Hubble Reaches the "Undiscovered Country" of Primeval Galaxies

An American Astronomical Society Meeting Release

January 5, 2010: NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has broken the distance limit for galaxies and uncovered a primordial population of compact and ultra-blue galaxies that have never been seen before. The deeper Hubble looks into space, the farther back in time it looks, because light takes billions of years to cross the observable universe. This makes Hubble a powerful "time machine" that allows astronomers to see galaxies as they were 13 billion years ago, just 600 million to 800 million years after the Big Bang.

The data from Hubble's new infrared camera, the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), on the Ultra Deep Field (taken in August 2009) have been analyzed by no less than five international teams of astronomers. A total of 15 papers have been submitted to date by astronomers worldwide. Some of these early results are being presented by various team members on Jan. 6, 2010, at the 215th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Washington, D.C.

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Credit: NASA, ESA, G. Illingworth and R. Bouwens (University of California, Santa Cruz), and the HUDF09 Team