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Astronomers Find Distant, Early Galaxy

International astronomers say they have found a distant galaxy that could date back to within 650 million years of the beginning of the universe.

Confirmation of the "Abell 2744_Y1," as the newfound galaxy is known, would push back the universe's galaxy-formation clock by 100 million years.

The observations used to detect the new galaxy employ a technique called "gravitational lensing" and are based on data from NASA's Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes and the Chandra Observatory.

Astronomers believe such technology might eventually reveal galaxies born just 300 million years after the Big Bang, which is thought to have occurred around 13.8 billion years ago.

The findings, led by scientists from the Astrophysics Institute of the Canary Islands, will be published in the journal "Astronomy and Astrophysics Letters."

Based on reporting by Reuters and "The Christian Science Monitor"