Distant Galaxy Cluster around 3C324
One of the deepest images to date of the universe, taken with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), reveals thousands of faint galaxies at the detection limit of present day telescopes.
Bottom Right Image
A close up view of the peculiar radio galaxy 3C324 used to locate the cluster. The galaxy is nine billion light-years away as measured by its spectral redshift (z=1.2), and located in the constellation Serpens. Based on the colors and the statistical distribution of the galaxies in 3C 324's vicinity, astronomers conclude a remote cluster is at the same distance as a radio galaxy.
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This pair of elliptical galaxies, seen together with a few fainter companions, is remarkably similar in shape, light distribution, and color to their present day descendants. This Hubble image provides evidence that ellipticals formed remarkably early in the universe.
Top Right Image
Some of the objects in this compact tangled group resemble today's spiral galaxies. However, they have irregular shapes and appear disrupted and asymmetric. This might be due to a high frequency of galaxy collisions and close encounters in the early universe.