A Young Old Galaxy

by / Friday, 15 April 2011 / Published in Blog - Space Log


As a kid, there are probably things you haven’t done yet. They might include drive a car, get a job, or have your own money. Maybe you wish you were older so you could do these things. Most adults will tell you they wish they were young again. Some begin to dread their birthdays’ arrival. Young or old, age is really more a state of mind. If you stay young at heart, it doesn’t matter how many candles are on your cake.

While we might have a certain idea about which ages are considered young and which are considered old, when it comes to galaxies, even the oldest person alive is still just a baby by comparison. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope recently identified a new galaxy that is quite young, as galaxies go. Its stars formed about 13.5 billion years ago

Galaxies like this one are usually hard to study, but because of a huge cluster of galaxies in front of it, it is actually easy to see. Through an occurrence called gravitational lensing, the young galaxy’s image is being magnified. This causes it to be 11 times brighter than it really is. Scientists are hoping this galaxy will help them learn more about when the first galaxies came to be.

{image 1 credit: NASA, ESA, CRAL, LAM, STScI}