Want to get a glimpse of the early universe as it existed 13.8 billion years ago? NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes captured a photo of what is being described as the “faintest object ever seen in the early universe” among a cluster of galaxies estimated to weigh as much as a million billion suns. Oh my.
Nicknamed Tayna, the object is located roughly 4 billion light-years away, and is thought to have come into existence about 400 million years after the big bang. Scientists are hopeful discoveries like Tayna will offer greater insight on the formation of the universe’s earliest galaxies.
“Thanks to this detection, the team has been able to study for the first time the properties of extremely faint objects formed not long after the big bang,” said Leopoldo Infante, astronomer at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.
Tayna, which is part of a larger cluster of about 22 galaxies, gives scientists hope that there are many more distant galaxies to find, in turn shedding more insight as to how the universe formed. It might look like a small pink smudge to most, but in reality it’s an amazing glimpse of an ancient object.