The Intra European Fellowship HIFHZLENS project aimed at studying the formation and evolution of 'high redshift galaxies through gravitational telescopes'.

A team of astronomers led by Johan Richard, a 31-year-old French researcher supported by the EU Marie Curie fund, has discovered a galaxy 13 billion light years away from Earth. The discovery of the star formation, which was created 200 million years after the "Big Bang", will help astronomers better understand the evolution of galaxies closer to the Earth, which may have affected the planet's climate. Richard started his research whilst a Marie Curie fellow at Durham University in the UK. The discovery of the galaxy was made at the Dark Cosmology Centre in Copenhagen, Denmark, using the Hubble Space Telescope. Dr Richard said the Marie Curie funding was vital in setting him on the path to the discovery. 'The Marie Curie Actions bring great opportunities for scientific independence - a must if we are looking for exciting discoveries to happen,' he commented.

He confirms that his research work at Durham University was key for the galaxy discovery to happen. He says that the Marie Curie Actions bring 'great opportunities for scientific independence'.

Press release: http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=MEMO/11/237

Project website: www.spacetelescope.org/news/heic1106