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Hubble and Keck Team Up to Find the Farthest Known Galaxy
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Hubble and Keck Team Up to Find the Farthest Known Galaxy

February 9, 2005
Galaxy cluster Abell 2218 is acting as a powerful lens, magnifying all galaxies lying behind the cluster core. The lensed galaxies are all stretched along the cluster's center and some of them are multiply imaged. Those multiple images usually appear as a pair of images with a third — generally fainter — counter image, as is the case for the very distant object.

The color of the lensed galaxies is a function of their distances and types. The orange arc is an elliptical galaxy at moderate redshift (z=0.7). The blue arcs are star-forming galaxies at intermediate redshift (z=1-2.5). The encircled very red pair is the newly discovered star-forming galaxy at about redshift 7.

The lensed galaxies are particularly numerous, as we are looking in between two mass clumps, in a saddle region where the magnification is quite large.