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Astronomers find 'most distant' galaxy

Posted on Thursday, 24 October, 2013 | Comment icon 45 comments

The Big Bang was thought to have occured 13.8 billion years ago. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

An international team of astronomers has detected a galaxy that is 30 billion light years away.

The galaxy was found using the Hubble Space Telescope and then later confirmed through the Keck Observatory in Hawaii. At 13.1 billion years old the galaxy's distance in light years is much greater than its age due to the expansion of the universe.

"This is the most distant galaxy we've confirmed," said lead researcher Steven Finkelstein. "We are seeing this galaxy as it was 700 million years after the Big Bang." At only 1-2% of the mass of the Milky Way the new discovery is far smaller but a lot more active at producing stars than our own galaxy.

Astronomers hope to learn more about the universe and the Big Bang by observing some of the earliest known stars and galaxies to have formed.

"This is an important step forward, but we need to continue looking for more," said Prof Alfonso Aragon-Salamanca. "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."

Source: BBC News | Comments (45)

Tags: Galaxy

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #36 Posted by J. K. on 29 October, 2013, 17:09
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Comment icon #37 Posted by Harte on 29 October, 2013, 17:12
If that is true, then where is the center of the Earth's surface? The fact that you don't understand 4 dimensional geometry is quite understandable. The fact that you refuse to acknowledge this fact is not. Harte
Comment icon #38 Posted by J. K. on 29 October, 2013, 17:43
Yes, the earth has a surface; however, it also has an interior, being a sphere. The center point of the earth is in its core. So, you are saying that the universe is situated on the surface of an expanding sphere that has no interior. Are we able to see objects that are on the side of the sphere opposite from us? How thick is the layer of universe on the sphere's surface? Are celestial objects moving through the vacuum of space, or is "space" expanding and carrying the objects with it?
Comment icon #39 Posted by Harte on 30 October, 2013, 17:07
Your mention of the inside of the earth would be completely and utterly meaningless to any two-dimensional creature living on the surface of a sphere. The way to think of dimensions greater than 3 (such as the relationship between 3-d space and 4-d space) is to analogize down one dimension. Which is what I did with the analogy of a 2-d surface having no center. As a 3-d creature, your advantage over a 2-d creature is that you can visualize the center of the sphere. No such thing exists in the world of a 2-d creature living in the surface of the sphere. Hence, no such thing exists for 3-... [More]
Comment icon #40 Posted by J. K. on 30 October, 2013, 18:29
I’m not sure why you brought the Flatlanders into this, since you and I are 3D beings in a 3D world. And sure, there are higher dimensions that exist, but our telescopes don’t see into them. Is the universe infinite, or does it have a shape? If it has a shape, what’s on the other side of the edge?
Comment icon #41 Posted by keithisco on 30 October, 2013, 20:43
No, No. and thriceNo.... you are trying to analogize a 4 Dspace (in which we all live) to some aberrant 3D dimensional space, which has phyisical limitations. No "spatial surfaces are 2 dimensional" where on earth do you get that idea from? We are all 4D creatures, (only if you accept that time is the 4th most important dimension). Even in this aberrant philosophy there would still be a "centre". a singularity that held all of the mass of the Universe, such that the "Big Bang" would have happened in just one place, not throughout the Universe. Tell me two th... [More]
Comment icon #42 Posted by keithisco on 30 October, 2013, 21:07
I am sorry, but you make no sense at all. In accordance with Big Bang theory there is just one immensely dense singularity, that does not have sufficient energy to expand., Then it does (the mechanics are unknown) from this singularity the Universe is born. ALL matter expelled from this point should be receding, but this is not the case. I think some alternative Physics need to be derived to explain this. Gravity alone is far too weak a source to explain why the Andromedan Galaxy is on a collision course with the Milky Way (our Galaxy). It goes against all of the tenets of Dark Matter and Da... [More]
Comment icon #43 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 2 November, 2013, 0:33
No it most definitely isn't. Objects with in an expanding universe can (and do) still posses independent motion. Ants crawling on the surface of an expanding balloon will still be capable of bumping into each other even though the average distance between them is growing.
Comment icon #44 Posted by coolguy on 2 November, 2013, 5:15
Just think there could be a planet there with people and we would not even know.and they won't know we're hear also
Comment icon #45 Posted by Harte on 2 November, 2013, 10:54
***SNIP*** Here's a link for anyone that wants to actually learn the answer to his question. Harte

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