"See far is see in the past" ... and when we look far away, we are able to trace the origins of the universe. It's what NASA astronomers have done by observing, thanks to Hubble Space Telescope, some of the first galaxies formed a little more than 13 billion years ago.
"It was a very ambitious observation campaign, we were able to go back to 13.3 billion years ago, a few million years after the big bang. At that time, the universe was only 3% of its current age", said Richard Ellis, astrophysicist at Caltech, Pasadena.
These observations have been possible, thanks to the team of Richard Ellis, by pushing Hubble to its limits. During six weeks in August and September, they have allowed to discover seven new galaxies which, according to NASA, were born between 400 and 600 millions years after the Big Bang. The oldest, named UDFj-39546284, is 13.3 billion years old, and was formed "only" 390 million years after the Big Bang.
Today, it is estimated that the universe is 13.7 billion years old. And in 2018, the successor of Hubble, the Infrared Space Telescope "James Webb Space Telescope / JWST", will be able to see even further.