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Hubble Goes To The Limit In Search Of Farthest Galaxies Stretching the vision of NASAs Hubble Space Telescope farther across space and further back into time than ever before astronomers have peered into a previously unseen realm of the universe A long exposure infrared image taken with Hubbles Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer NICMOS has uncovered the faintest galaxies ever seen Astronomers believe some of these galaxies could be over 12 billion light-years away depending on cosmological models making them the farthest objects ever seen A powerful new generation of telescopes will be needed to confirm the suspected distances NICMOS has parted the dark curtain that previously blocked our view of very distant objects and revealed a whole new cast of characters We now have to study them to find out who what and where they are We are still finding new frontiers says Rodger I Thompson of the University of Arizona in Tucson This is just our first tentative glimpse into the very remote universe says Alan Dressler of the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena CA What we see may be the first stages of galaxy formation But the objects are so faint that their true nature can only be explored with the advanced telescopes of the future This observation is a major step toward fulfilling one of Hubbles key objectives to search for the faintest and farthest objects in the universe adds Ed Weiler NASAs acting Associate Administrator for Space Science In a separate discovery Thompson also found that faint red galaxies matched up with compact blue knots of light seen in the earlier visible light image This means that some objects that appeared to be separate galaxies in the optical image are really hot star-forming regions in much larger older galaxies he says Prior to the NICMOS observation a ten-day long exposure called the Hubble Deep Field was Space Telescopes benchmark for the deepest
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