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Astronomers observe oldest known galaxy


Posted on Wednesday, 13 June, 2012 | Comment icon 16 comments


Image credit: NASA/ESA

 
A team of astronomers from Japan believe they've observed a galaxy that is 12.91 billion years old.

Several claims have been made over the years of the discovery of galaxies believed to be the oldest ever observed, some are dismissed while others hold more weight. Experts examining this latest claim have reported that it is the most promising to date

Teams have previously announced discoveries of galaxies over 13 billion years old however without confirmation of these findings using other methods there is no way to be sure that the claims are accurate.

"A team of Japanese astronomers using telescopes on Hawaii say they've seen the oldest galaxy, a discovery that's competing with other "earliest galaxy" claims."

  View: Full article |  Source: Time Magazine

  Discuss: View comments (16)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #7 Posted by Taun on 13 June, 2012, 14:36
Correct me if I'm wrong, but what I understand is that there was no light in the universe until the first stars ignited, about 300,000 years after the big bang. It would therefore be impossible to gaze past this "light horizon" and "see" the big bang itself...and impossible to see any stars, much less galaxies, older than 13.4 million years old (if the date of the big bang in the article is correct). That's why I said 'first glow'... As to the stars that appear older than the universe, maybe they are... but, maybe there is an inherent error in our measuring system... I am on the fence as to wh... [More]
Comment icon #8 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 13 June, 2012, 14:51
Correct me if I'm wrong, but what I understand is that there was no light in the universe until the first stars ignited, about 300,000 years after the big bang. It would therefore be impossible to gaze past this "light horizon" and "see" the big bang itself...and impossible to see any stars, much less galaxies, older than 13.4 million years old (if the date of the big bang in the article is correct). You are essentially correct, although not because of the lack of stars. Wikipedia explains it better than me: After the Big Bang, the universe was a hot, dense plasma of photons, electrons, and pr... [More]
Comment icon #9 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 13 June, 2012, 15:23
Its worse than that What many devout followers of the Big Bang dont know is scientists know of several stars which appear to be older then the universe. As to the stars that appear older than the universe, maybe they are... but, maybe there is an inherent error in our measuring system... Mr. Right Wing, your information is about 9 years out of date and was never actually true anyway. Taun is not far off the mark. This claim was always based on a poor understanding of the measurements. In any measurement there is a degree of uncertainty. Scientists will quote a figure plus or minus a certain am... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by coolguy on 13 June, 2012, 23:25
what a great find there could be an earth planet with life
Comment icon #11 Posted by 27vet on 14 June, 2012, 6:19
Can't wait for the JWST.... The James Webb Space Telescope (sometimes called JWST) is a large, infrared-optimized space telescope. The project is working to a 2018 launch date. Webb will find the first galaxies that formed in the early Universe, connecting the Big Bang to our own Milky Way Galaxy. Webb will peer through dusty clouds to see stars forming planetary systems, connecting the Milky Way to our own Solar System. Webb's instruments will be designed to work primarily in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum, with some capability in the visible range. Webb will have a large ... [More]
Comment icon #12 Posted by psyche101 on 14 June, 2012, 6:29
Would it still presently exist?
Comment icon #13 Posted by 27vet on 15 June, 2012, 6:07
Would it still presently exist? Probably but it may have split or merged with another galaxy, many of the original stars would have died, new ones formed (see galaxy formation and evolution)
Comment icon #14 Posted by Aerosol on 15 June, 2012, 12:15
The article says: "The Japanese team calculates its galaxy was formed 12.91 billion light-years ago" Now, how can something be formed a DISTANCE ago? A common mistake btw, I understand it's light takes 12.91 billion years to reach earth, so we are seeing how it looked like 12.91 billion years ago. Just pointing out they should have said something like "it is 12.91 billion light-years away, and therefore created at least 12.91 billion years ago." And I mean the articicle on the homepage, not the one at the top of this topic (http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2117079,00.html)
Comment icon #15 Posted by cjr3285 on 19 June, 2012, 0:52
It seems that every year past theories get proven wrong. After all, science is best guess with the presented evidence.
Comment icon #16 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 19 June, 2012, 1:17
It seems that every year past theories get proven wrong. After all, science is best guess with the presented evidence. And every year other theories are prove right? I'm not sure what point you are trying to make here. I fail to see what theory you think is being shown to be wrong with this discovery. What I am sure about is that you are mistaking guessing with deduction. When a jury comes to a conclusion based on the evidence presented in court are they simply guessing whether a man is innocent or guilty? No, they are coming to an informed decision based on the best evidence available. Someti... [More]


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