Washington Astronomers took pictures of a far-off lumpy galaxy just forming 13 billion years ago, putting it among the earliest and most distant cosmic objects ever photographed.
Though the black-and-white images are fuzzy, they are the most detailed and best confirmed look back in both time and distance that humans have seen, said Johns Hopkins University astronomy professor Holland Ford. He was part of a team of scientists taking the pictures with NASA's space telescopes, Hubble and Spitzer.
The galaxy, called A1689-zD1, is from when the universe was about 700 million years old, not long after the formation of the first galaxies.
And it's different from galaxies like our Milky Way, Ford said.
"It is much smaller. It is lumpy. It has two centers instead of one and it is undergoing extreme star formation," he said. "It is basically the building blocks for what will be a galaxy like our own in the future."