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Astronomers discover infant galaxy
Posted: Sun, Oct 7, 2001, 11:19 AM ET (1519 GMT)
Distant, infant galaxy (ESA, NASA, et al.) A team of astronomers announced Friday that they have found a distant galaxy in the process of forming, a key discovery in efforts to understand the early history of the universe. Astronomers used the Hubble Space Telescope and the 10-meter Keck Telescopes in Hawaii to discover the distant galaxy, about 13.4 billion light-years away. The discovery was made possible because an intervening galaxy cluster, Abell 2218, acted as a gravitational lens, focusing the light from the more distant galaxy. The galaxy, containing no more than a few million stars, is estimated to have formed only a few hundred million years after the Big Bang that formed the universe. The discovery is hailed as a major step towards understanding conditions in the early universe, including learning how the first galaxies formed.
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