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09.27.05

Spitzer Infrared View of a "Baby" Galaxy in the Distant Universe

NASA's Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescopes combined forces to uncover one of the most distant galaxies ever seen. The faraway galaxy, named HUDF-JD2 is not seen in a companion Hubble visible-light image, but was detected in a separate image using Hubble's near infrared camera and multi-object spectrometer, and appears even brighter at the longer infrared wavelengths, as revealed in this image obtained by the Spitzer infrared camera.

At visible wavelengths, the light from the galaxy is absorbed by intervening hydrogen gas, and so the galaxy appears faint in the Hubble visible and near-infrared images. The surprise is how bright is appears to Spitzer in the infrared, suggesting a very massive and distant galaxy.

This image is a false-color composite of Spitzer infrared data, with 3.6 micron light represented by blue, 4.5 micron light as green and 8.0 micron light as red.