Astronomers think they've found the oldest thing they've ever seen in the cosmos: It's a galaxy far, far absent from a time long, long ago.
Buried in a Hubble Space Telescope photo released former this year is a small smudge of light that European astronomers now calculate is a galaxy from 13.1 billion years ago. That's a time when the world was very young, just shy of 600 million years old. That would make it the initial and most distant galaxy see so far.
Through now the galaxy is so ancient it probably doesn't exist in its previous form and has already complex into bigger neighbors, said WASHINGTON Matthew Lehnert of the Paris Observatory, lead author of the study in print online Wednesday in the journal Nature.