A team of astronomers led by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has used NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to discover seven of the most primitive and distant galaxies ever seen.
One of the galaxies, the astronomers say, might be the all-time record holder—the galaxy as observed existed when the universe was merely 380 million years old. All of the newly discovered galaxies formed more than 13 billion years ago, when the universe was just about 4 percent of its present age, a period astronomers call the "cosmic dawn," when the first galaxies were born. The universe is now 13.7 billion years old.
The new observations span a period between 350 million and 600 million years after the Big Bang and represent the first reliable census of galaxies at such an early time in cosmic history, the team says.