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Hubble Visible-Light and Near-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 the Hubble visible-light image, but was detected using Hubble's near infrared camera and multi-object spectrometer, and appears even brighter at the longer infrared wavelengths, as revealed by the Spitzer infrared camera in a separate image.

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 Hubble/ACS visible-light data and Hubble/NICMOS near-infrared data, with B-band light represented by blue, R-band light as green and K-band light as red.