The discovery came from a Hubble Space Telescope photo released earlier this year. Hidden in the picture is a small smudge of light that European astronomers now calculate is a galaxy from 13.1 billion years ago.
STEVE INSKEEP, Host:
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.
Astronomers say they found the oldest thing ever seen in the universe. It takes time for light to travel billions of miles, so the farther away an object is the older is our view of it. The Hubble Space Telescope picked up a small and distant smudge of light. European astronomers say it's a galaxy from 13.1 billion years ago. Just as you've changed since your school photo, so has the galaxy, which may have merged with another galaxy. We'll know for sure in a few billion years.
It's MORNING EDITION.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.