Faintest Galaxy in the Early Universe Spotted by Hubble Space Telescope

First Posted: Dec 03, 2015 07:06 PM EST

Researchers have spotted the faintest galaxy from the early universe. They've harnessed the combined power of NASA's Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes to reveal the faintest object seen, existing 13.8 billion years ago.

The newly found object has been nicknamed Tayna, and represents a smaller, fainter class of newly forming galaxy that until now have largely evaded detection. These very dim objects may be more representative of the early universe, and offer new insight on the formation and evolution of the first galaxies.

"Thanks to this detection, the team has been able to study for the first time the properties of extremely faint objects formed not long after the big bang," said Leopoldo Infante, the lead author of the new study, in a news release.

The newly found object is about the size of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), which is a small satellite galaxy of our Milky Way. It's actually making stars at a rate ten times faster than the LMC, and the object may be the core of what may eventually grow to a full-sized galaxy.

The finding suggests that the very early universe may be rich in galaxy targets for the upcoming James Webb Telescope to uncover.

The findings are published in The Astrophysical Journal.

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