See that image to the right? The Galaxy we’re talking about is a dot in the upper left hand corner.
Given the chick-magnet name of UDFy-38135539, or, for our purposes, “Duffy”, this galaxy holds the record for the furthest thing away from us that we’ve been able to see, namely 13.1 billion light years away. How was Duffy found? Well, first we (and by “we”, I mean Americans…although Gamma Squad contributed top secret material to the cause. Yeah, we were around in 1993, no big deal) put the Hubble into orbit, which was kind of tough. Then it was pointed towards the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, essentially an area with as little crap in the way as possible. And then it took a photo with a 48 hour exposure.
So, beyond rewarding years of reading Waldo books, why’s this a big deal? Finding objects like this help us understand the beginnings of the universe. Also, come on. That thing is, like, epically old. That’s kinda neat.
[ via Discover ]