The era of reionisation (artist’s impression)

Astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) have measured the distance to the most remote galaxy so far, UDFy-38135539, which we see as it was when the Universe was only about 600 million years old (a redshift of 8.6). At this early time, the Universe was not fully transparent and much of it was filled with a hydrogen fog that absorbed the fierce ultraviolet light from young galaxies. The period when the fog was still being cleared by this ultraviolet light is known as the era of reionisation, visualised in this artist’s impression. The glow from UDFy-38135539 seems not to be strong enough on its own to clear out the hydrogen fog. There must be other galaxies, probably fainter and less massive nearby companions of UDFy-38135539, which also helped make the space around the galaxy transparent.


ESO/L. Calçada

About the Video

Release date:20 October 2010, 19:00
Related releases:eso1041
Duration:36 s
Frame rate:30 fps

About the Object

Type:Early Universe : Galaxy



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