The Hubble Space Telescope has started a new mission to study six massive galaxy clusters that may help shed light on how the earliest galaxies evolved in the universe, NASA said. For understanding cosmos learning about the formation and evolution of the very first galaxies in the universe is crucial.
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The Hubble Space Telescope has already detected some of the most distant galaxies known, their numbers are small, making it hard for astronomers to determine if they represent the universe at large.
Hubble observing campaign, called Beyond Ultra-deep Frontier Fields and Legacy Observations, or BUFFALO, will boldly expand the space telescope's view into regions that are adjacent to huge galaxy clusters previously photographed by NASA's Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes under a program called Frontier Fields.
The BUFFALO program is designed to identify galaxies in their earliest stages of formation, less than 800 million years after the big bang. BUFFALO will be able to detect the galaxies approximately ten times more efficiently than its progenitor.
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The extended fields of view will also allow better 3D mapping of the mass distribution – of both ordinary and dark matter – within each galaxy cluster.
The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and ESA (European Space Agency). NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the telescope.