Herschel's survey of galaxies
This image shows galaxies observed by ESA's Herschel Space Observatory as part of the Herschel Multi-tiered Extragalactic Survey (HerMES). Scrutinising several hundred thousand galaxies in this survey, astronomers have identified ADFS-27, a very rare instance of a massive object in the very early Universe.
The image combines data collected at 350 micron (blue) and 500 micron (green). Follow-up observations were performed around the potentially interesting source at 870 micron with the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) and are shown in red.
Further observations obtained with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) at higher resolution revealed that ADFS-27 consists not just of one ancient, massive galaxy, but of a pair of distinct massive galaxies about to merge.