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Hubble photos galaxies from 13.2 billion years ago

  • This undated image made available by the European Space Agency and NASA on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014 shows galaxies in the Abell 2744 cluster, and blue galaxies behind it, distorted and amplified by gravitational lensing. The long-exposure image taken with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope shows some of the intrinsically faintest and youngest galaxies ever detected in visible light. (AP Photo/ESA/NASA)

WASHINGTON — The Hubble Space Telescope has captured snapshots of never-before seen galaxies far, far away. Try 13.2 billion years ago.

That's so long ago and far away that Hubble was never supposed to see these clusters of baby stars.

The images show a universe only 500 million years after the Big Bang, when most of the infant galaxies were about 1 percent the size of our Milky Way. But astronomers say they already have a surprise.

Astronomer Garth Illingworth of the University of California Santa Cruz said while most of the galaxies are dwarfs, some grew faster and are far brighter than predicted.

The pictures were released Tuesday at the American Astronomical Society conference in Washington.

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