Hubble spots candidate for most distant known galaxy

In this image, astronomers use the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and a cosmic zoom lens to uncover the farthest known galaxy in the Universe.

The newly discovered galaxy, named MACS0647-JD, is very young and only a tiny fraction of the size of our Milky Way. The object is observed 420 million years after the Big Bang, when the Universe was 3 percent of its present age of 13.7 billion years. The inset at left shows a close-up of the young dwarf galaxy.

This is the latest discovery from a large program that uses massive clusters of galaxies as natural zoom lenses to reveal distant galaxies in the early universe. Called the Cluster Lensing And 
Supernova survey with Hubble (CLASH), the program allows astronomers to use the gravity of massive galaxy clusters to magnify distant galaxies behind them, an effect called gravitational lensing.

In this Hubble observation, astronomers used the massive galaxy cluster MACS J0647.7+7015 as the giant cosmic telescope. The bright yellow galaxies near the center of the image are cluster members. The cluster’s gravity boosted the light from the faraway galaxy, making its image appear approximately eight times brighter than it otherwise would. The gravitational lensing technique allowed astronomers to detect the galaxy more efficiently and with greater confidence. Without the cluster’s magnification powers, astronomers would not have seen this remote galaxy.

This image is a composite taken with Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 and the Advanced Camera for Surveys. The observations were taken 5 October and 29 November 2011.

Credit:

NASA, ESA, and M. Postman and D. Coe (Space Telescope Science Institute), and the CLASH team

About the Image

Id:heic1217a
Type:Observation
Release date:15 November 2012, 19:00
Related releases:heic1217
Size:1578 x 1520 px

About the Object

Name:MCS J0647.7+7015
Type:• Early Universe : Galaxy : Type : Gravitationally Lensed
• Early Universe : Galaxy : Grouping : Cluster
• Early Universe : Cosmology : Phenomenon : Lensing
• X - Cosmology Images/Videos
Distance:z=11.0 (redshift)

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
B
435 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
B
475 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
V
555 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
R
606 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Infrared
I
775 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Infrared
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Infrared
I
850 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Infrared
Y
1.05 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Infrared
Y
1.1 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Infrared
J
1.25 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Infrared
J
1.4 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Infrared
H
1.6 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3

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