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Hubble spies farthest galaxy cluster yet

The most distant cluster of galaxies ever observed in the early universe has been discovered, say researchers at University of Colorado-Boulder. 

In a random sky survey made in near-infrared light, NASA’s Hubble telescope spied five small galaxies clustered together 13.1 billion light-years away. They are among the brightest galaxies at that epoch and very young, living just 600 million years after the universe’s birth in the Big Bang.

“These galaxies formed during the earliest stages of galaxy assembly, when galaxies had just started to cluster together,” says the study’s leader, Michele Trenti.

“The result confirms our theoretical understanding of the buildup of galaxy clusters. And Hubble is just powerful enough to find the first examples of them at this distance.”

Full story at Futurity.

More research news from top universities.

Photo credit: NASA; ESA; M. Trenti/University of Colorado Boulder and Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, U.K.; L. Bradley/Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore; and the BoRG team

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