January 10, 2009
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Hubble Space Telescope has captured a snapshot of when the universe was just a toddler, 600 million years after the Big Bang, the earliest image yet.
Astronomers Tuesday released their most complete picture of the early universe, gazing back as far as possible in time and distance. The photo shows galaxies with stars that are already hundreds of millions of years old, but with the unmistakable primordial signs of the first cluster of stars.
The Hubble picture captures those distant simpler galaxies juxtaposed amid closer, newer and more evolved ones. The result is a cosmic family photo that portrays galaxies at different ages and stages of development over the course of more than 13 billion years.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)