Hubble Sees Itself 13.3 Billion Years Ago

Astronomers are using the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes to look back into our universe’s past… way back.  In fact, Hubble recently could have been looking at itself or, at least, some of the particles that currently exist in the telescope as they were 13.4 billion years ago.

Scientists have identified an ancient galaxy that was exceptionally bright and distant.  The galaxy, now called GN-z11, was formed about 400 million years after the Big Bang at a time when the universe was approximately three percent of its current age.   GN-z11 is the oldest object ever imaged, with its light emitted 13.4 billion years ago.

Cosmologists, in the past, have considered the first billion years after the Big Bang as the “Dark Ages,” when stars and galaxies were not being formed.  However, this new discovery should change that thinking.  It appears that stars and galaxies were being formed early after the Big Bang.   Using the Spitzer infrared telescope, scientists were able to determine that GN-z11 is both bright and large for its age.  This early galaxy had a star mass equaling a billion times that of our sun.  GN-z11 also was forming new stars at a rapid pace.  The results make it clear that star and galaxy formation was very active a relatively short time after the Big Bang.

So, how can Hubble see itself or even ancient galaxies that no longer exist?  In other words, how can Hubble view light images, traveling at the speed of light?  If the light were emitted from GN-z11 around 13.4 billion years ago, wouldn’t it have traveled at a faster rate than the expansion of the universe?

There are only two logical explanations for our viewing the early light:  (1) time has reversed and we are moving back into the past (Big Crunch) or (2) the expansion of space exceeds the speed of light.  The second reason seems to comport with Einstein and other theorists.  But this does not explain the time continuum that Hubble can actually view.  In other words, if the expansion of the space between objects initially exceeded the speed of light and then later slowed down, wouldn’t we only see early views as they caught up with us rather than the entire field of ancient galaxies?

The only reason that remains, although very controversial, is that time has reversed directions, and we are now headed back towards the Big Bang.  Cosmologists argue that the redshift indicates that the universe is expanding; however, it could also prove that the universe is contracting.  In other words, two galaxies that were shrinking would draw away from each other, creating a redshift as between them.

The wavelength of GN-z11 was in the UV end of the spectrum when it formed 13.4 billion years ago.  But today it has redshifted into the infrared portion of the spectrum.  Is this evidence of a time reversal?  If time were reversed, we should be able to see ourselves as we were in the past, which would be stardust.