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HubbleSite Gravitational Lens Helps Hubble and Keck Discover Galaxy Building Block

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Space Telescope Science

A very small, faint galaxy -- possibly one of the long sought "building blocks" of present-day galaxies -- has been discovered by a collaboration between NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and the 10-meter Keck Telescopes at a tremendous distance of 13.4 billion light-years (based on the estimate of 14 billion years as the age of the universe). The discovery was made possible by examining small areas of the sky viewed through massive intervening clusters of galaxies. These act as a powerful gravitational lens, magnifying distant objects and allowing scientists to probe how galaxies assemble at very early times. This has profound implications for our understanding of how and when the first stars and galaxies formed in the universe.

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