The big blob-like structure shown here, named Himiko after the legendary ancient queen of Japan, turns out to be three galaxies thought to be in the process of merging into one.

The big blob-like structure shown here, named Himiko after the legendary ancient queen of Japan, turns out to be three galaxies thought to be in the process of merging into one. In this image, infrared data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope are red; visible data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope are green; and ultraviolet data from Japan's Subaru telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii are blue.

Himiko is located nearly 13 billion light-years from Earth, dating back to a time when galaxies were first forming.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages the Spitzer Space Telescope mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Science operations are conducted at the Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Data are archived at the Infrared Science Archive housed at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at Caltech. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.

For more information about Spitzer, visit http://spitzer.caltech.edu and http://www.nasa.gov/spitzer.

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