The Hubble Telescope Spotted a Galaxy Far, Far Away — the Farthest, to Be Specific
Though NASA's news from March makes us feel slightly uncomfortable — and really, really small — we have to admit, this is pretty incredible: the Hubble Space Telescope broke the previous cosmic distance record by spotting the farthest detectable galaxy to date.
The newly discovered galaxy is named GN-z11 and can be seen in the telescope's latest snap . . . but there's a catch. Since light takes an unbelievable amount of time to travel through the universe, the image we're seeing is not of GN-z11 in its present state, but rather how it looked 13.4 billion years ago.
"We've taken a major step back in time, beyond what we'd ever expected to be able to do with Hubble," said Pascal Oesch, the finding's principal investigator, in a press release. "We see GN-z11 at a time when the universe was only three percent of its current age." The team of researchers from Yale University, the Space Telescope Science Institute, and the University of California found GN-z11 by using the Hubble Space Telescope's "wide field camera 3." The camera was able to find the exact position by looking at the light given off by the galaxy.
Keep reading for some pretty intense images of GN-z11 and prepare for an existential crisis of epic proportions.