The PJ Tatler

NASA to announce oldest galaxy ever seen (Updated)

Press conference this afternoon.  But this part of the lead-up story makes no sense.

NASA hasn’t revealed anything else about the discovery, but late last year Hubble sighted a galaxy scientists say dates back to when the earth was only 600 million years old.

The earth is abut 4.5 billion years old.  The universe, last time I checked, is about 14 billion and change.  We’ve seen galaxies in the Hubble Deep Field and Ultra Deep Field (I was in the room when parts of that one were downloaded for the first time) that date back waaaay beyond the earth’s age, back to when the universe itself was a spry young thing.  Nevertheless, I’m such a sucker for deep space discoveries that I spent eight years on the Hubble project myself, so I’ll be interested to hear what’s going on today.

Update: The galaxy seen is at the 500 million year mark.  That’s about 9 billion years before the earth was formed, give or take, almost all the way back to the beginning.  Not too shabby for a 21 year old telescope that was only originally supposed to fly for 10 or so.