Inset view of distant galaxy GOODS-N-774
This image shows observations of a newly discovered galaxy core dubbed GOODS-N-774, taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Camera 3 and Advanced Camera for Surveys. This galaxy core was spotted in part of the Hubble GOODS-N field (Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey). The core can be seen in its larger context in the annotated image of Hubble's GOODS North field.
This is the first time that a galaxy has been spotted at this stage of formation – a very early stage where the dense galactic core is still furiously churning out newborn stars. GOODS-N-774 is seen here as it appeared eleven billion years ago, just three billion years after the Big Bang.
After this stage, galaxies like this are thought to build up "inside out", expanding outwards via mergers with other smaller galaxies to become giant elliptical galaxies.