Found: Most Distant Galaxy Yet, Age 13 Billion Years

There’s a reason “astronomical” also means a hugely large amount. Astronomers have found the most distant galaxy yet, one that dates back to just 700 million years after the Big Bang. That means its light traveled for more than 13 billion years, stretching along with an expanding universe, before finally arriving within the researchers’ instruments. Not only is that simply mind-blowingly cool, but the galaxy far, far away is also providing hints about what the early universe was like.
The star city in question, which those in the know simply call z8_GND_5296, first turned up in a Hubble Space Telescope survey called CANDELS (Cosmic Assembly Near-Infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey). The project — the telescope’s largest ever — discovered about 100,000 galaxies total, but ol’ z8_GND_5296 and 42 others stood out as potential long-distance record-breakers.
The astronomers took to the mountains to study these potential outliers: the Keck Observatory on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea volcano. Looking at the 43 galaxies in depth, only one had the kind of data they were looking for, a special kind of feature in its light spectrum called the Lyman alpha transition that indicated that it was exceptionally distant. The results appear in today’s Nature.
Full Article

Credit: V. Tilvi (Texas A&M), S. Finkelstein (UT Austin), the CANDELS team, and HST/NASA

Found: Most Distant Galaxy Yet, Age 13 Billion Years

There’s a reason “astronomical” also means a hugely large amount. Astronomers have found the most distant galaxy yet, one that dates back to just 700 million years after the Big Bang. That means its light traveled for more than 13 billion years, stretching along with an expanding universe, before finally arriving within the researchers’ instruments. Not only is that simply mind-blowingly cool, but the galaxy far, far away is also providing hints about what the early universe was like.

The star city in question, which those in the know simply call z8_GND_5296, first turned up in a Hubble Space Telescope survey called CANDELS (Cosmic Assembly Near-Infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey). The project — the telescope’s largest ever — discovered about 100,000 galaxies total, but ol’ z8_GND_5296 and 42 others stood out as potential long-distance record-breakers.

The astronomers took to the mountains to study these potential outliers: the Keck Observatory on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea volcano. Looking at the 43 galaxies in depth, only one had the kind of data they were looking for, a special kind of feature in its light spectrum called the Lyman alpha transition that indicated that it was exceptionally distant. The results appear in today’s Nature.

Full Article

Credit: V. Tilvi (Texas A&M), S. Finkelstein (UT Austin), the CANDELS team, and HST/NASA


Posted 12 months ago with 150 notes
Tagged:Astronomysciencenewsdistant galaxygalaxyhstNASAspacestars

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