Spitzer Space Telescope Spotted Four Ultra Red Galaxies

Using NASA’s Spitzer space telescope, the astronomers spotted four remarkably red galaxies which are nearly 13 billion light-years from Earth, meaning it’s taken their light about 13 billion years to reach us. So researchers are seeing the galaxies as they were in the early days of the universe, which itself is about 13.7 billion years old. NASA’s Hubble space telescope has imaged even more ancient galaxies, but according to researchers the four ruddy objects seen by Spitzer are a breed apart. This four newfound galaxies shine much more brightly in infrared light than in visible wavelengths, which is how the infrared-sensitive Spitzer was able to detect them. The research team still isn’t sure why they’re so strikingly red.

There are three main reasons why a galaxy may appear red.  First, it may be extremely dusty. Second, it could contain many old, red stars. Or third, the galaxy may be extremely distant, in which case the expansion of the universe has stretched its light to very long (and very red) wavelengths. All three of these factors may be in play in the newfound galaxies case. The team hopes to study the galaxies further.