January 9, 2014 | David F. Coppedge

Hubble Finds Early Large Galaxies

The latest deep space image by the Hubble Space Telescope shows many small galaxies near the beginning, but large ones, too.

A new super-deep-field photo posted at the HubbleSite sets a new bar for faint object imaging.  The article presents many faint, small galaxies as building blocks of larger galaxies made visible by gravitational lensing.

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered the long-suspected underlying population of galaxies that produced the bulk of new stars during the universe’s early years. They are the smallest, faintest, and most numerous galaxies ever seen in the remote universe, captured by Hubble deep exposures taken in ultraviolet light.

Live Science says that the lensing cluster, Abell 2744, is 3.5 billion light years away but the faint galaxies in the background are more than 12 billion light-years away.  Galaxies that far away (and thus further back in time) are not supposed to have heavy elements, because there had not been enough generations of stars to produce them.

The Huffington Post adds this detail not mentioned in the press release:

Most of the galaxies then were close to 1,000 times smaller than our Milky Way, but astronomers said they were surprised to discover a few brighter, bigger galaxies sparkling out there.

It’s also a bit puzzling why the faint, small galaxies would be “undergoing a firestorm of star birth” in that epoch, but not today.

This is a work in progress; astronomers are still trying to tease out the small from the large galaxies and determine their distances.  Still, they would not expect mature galaxies at such an early epoch according to big bang theory.  “Early maturity,” contrary to the expectations of cosmologists, has been a running theme for the past 12 years.  Is the claim of a “firestorm of star birth” an instance of special pleading, an ad hoc theory-rescuing device?  Why else would dispersing gas be in a hurry to clump together?  The secularists’ own principle of uniformitarianism should render that explanation out of bounds.  It appears they are trying to rescue theory from observation.


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  • Gary says:

    I must have missed something in the original article or more likely I’m showing my ignorance. Shouldn’t radiation from that epoch be massively red-shifted and thus detectable in the infrared rather than the ultraviolet? How is it then that Hubble captured these images in the ultraviolet?

  • Gary says:

    To quote the technical facts about the news release accompanying this image at Hubblesite: “Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 captured these images of the galaxies in ultraviolet light”.

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