What in the Universe: Early Galaxy

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What is this fuzzy red blob? 

Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with NASA’s Universe of Learning partners: Caltech/IPAC, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, and Sonoma State University

  • Image of early galaxy:  NASA, STScI (Frank Summers)
  • Visualization of Hubble Deep Field:  NASA, STScI (Frank Summers)

Written by Leah Ramsay 
Designed by Dani Player 
Subject matter expertise from Dr. Quyen Hart 
Editorial and design input from Margaret Carruthers and Timothy Rhue II 
Music courtesy of Music for Non-Profits

Red square against starry sky. Icons, star, galaxy, constellation, asteroid, solar system. Text, what in the universe?
What is this red fuzzy blob? A., a dusty nebula, B., a red supergiant star, C., the remains of a supernova explosion, D., a distant galaxy in the early universe.
D is highlighted.
Text, Early galaxy, 10 billion light years away.
Visualization. It takes time to move through space. Light moves through space very quickly, but the distances of the universe are very very long.
When telescopes see light from very distant galaxies, they are also seeing galaxies as they were long ago, when the universe was young.
They are far away in both space and time.
Powerful telescopes also show us that these galaxies have less defined structure than galaxies close to us.
The James Webb Space Telescope is currently observing very distant galaxies to learn more about the early universe.