Scientists discover three galaxies merging in the dawn of the universe

NASA has published an incredible photo that shows a "far-flung trio of primitive galaxies nestled inside an enormous blob of primordial gas nearly 13 billion light-years from Earth." What's amazing about this is that you are looking at something being created in the Cosmic Dawn, the period "when the universe was first bathed in starlight."

Those are the words of Richard Ellis of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena:

This exceedingly rare triple system, seen when the universe was only 800 million years old [which is cosmic terms is the equivalent to the first 3.8 years of our lives], provides important insights into the earliest stages of galaxy formation during a period known as 'cosmic dawn,' when the universe was first bathed in starlight.

Back in 2009, astronomers only could see one ball of hot gas. But now, combining images from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array telescope in Chile and NASA's Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, they have been able to see its true form.

NASA says that Himiko—a legendary queen of ancient Japan that gives name to this space object—"it's possible the trio will eventually merge into a single galaxy similar to our own Milky Way."