New Galaxy Most Distant, Yet Discovered
In international team of astronomers has detected the most distant galaxy yet. The galaxy is about 30 billion light-years away. It was found using the Hubble Space Telescope and its distance was then confirmed with the ground-based Keck Observatory in Hawaii.
Lead researcher, Steven Finkelstein, from the University of Texas at Austin, US, said:
“This is the most distant galaxy we’ve confirmed. We are seeing this galaxy as it was 700 million years after the Big Bang.”
The far-off galaxy goes by the catchy name of z8_GND_5296.
Astronomers were able to measure how far it was from Earth by analyzing its colour.
Because the Universe is expanding and everything is moving away from us, light waves are stretched. This makes objects look redder than they actually are.
Astronomers rate this apparent colour-change on a scale that is called Redshift.
They found that this galaxy has a Redshift of 7.51, beating the previous record-holder, which had a Redshift of 7.21.
This makes it the most distant galaxy ever found.
Commenting on the research, Dr Marek Kukula, Public Astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, told BBC News:
“This, along with some other evidence, shows that there are already quite surprisingly evolved galaxies in the very early Universe. This high star-formation rate maybe is a clue as to why these galaxies can form so quickly.”
Prof Alfonso Aragon-Salamanca, from the University of Nottingham, added:
“This is an important step forward, but we need to continue looking for more. The further away we go, the closer we will get to discovering the very first stars that ever formed in the Universe. The next generation of telescopes will make this possible.”