Hubble Space Telescope set to peer in to earliest galaxies: NASA
The Hubble Space Telescope has started a new mission to study six massive galaxy clusters that may help shed light on how the earliest galaxies evolved in the universe, NASA said. Learning about the formation and evolution of the very first galaxies in the universe is crucial for our understanding of the cosmos.
While the Hubble Space Telescope has already detected some of the most distant galaxies known, their numbers are small, making it hard for astronomers to determine if they represent the universe at large. Initial observations from the Beyond Ultra-deep Frontier Fields And Legacy Observations (BUFFALO) survey show the galaxy cluster Abell 370 and a host of magnified, gravitationally lensed galaxies around it.
Massive galaxy clusters like Abell 370 can help astronomers find more of these distant objects. The immense masses of galaxy clusters make them act as cosmic magnifying glasses. A cluster’s mass bends and magnifies light from more distant objects behind it, uncovering objects otherwise too faint for even Hubble’s sensitive vision. Using this cosmological trick — known as strong gravitational lensing — Hubble is able to explore some of the earliest and most distant galaxies in the universe.
Numerous galaxies are lensed by the mass of Abell 370. …read more