Hubble’s 13.2 Billion Light-Year Squint

A photograph of the distant universe taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. A photograph of the distant universe taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.

This is the farthest that the Hubble Space Telescope will ever see. Some of the flecks of light in this two-million-second exposure, released last week, are infant galaxies emerging from the gloom only half a billion years after the Big Bang; their light has been on the way to us for 13.2 billion years. More distant (and earlier) galaxies cannot be seen because their light is shifted into infrared wavelengths that are invisible to Hubble.