heic0005 — Science Release
Unveiling the nature of a dusty galaxy
6 September 2000: The ESA/NASA Hubble Space Telescope has made the first detailed optical observations of an example of a remarkable class of galaxies by using the additional magnifying power of a huge galaxy cluster to extend its range. The galaxy, named J1/J2, belongs to a remote population of galaxies. Although extremely luminous, the galaxies are obscured by enormous quantities of dust - the smoky residue of the life cycle of massive stars - and have so far only been seen by sub-millimetre telescopes. The Hubble observation has enabled astronomers to investigate the connection between this distant population of 'hidden' dust-enshrouded, intensely star-forming galaxies and the less dusty galaxies that are readily observed with optical telescopes.