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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
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 whether there was a 'big bang' or not... currently I'm leaning to our universe being an energy 'bubble' created by two (or more) M-branes colliding (like two sheets on a clothes line)... My opinion may change over time - it has in the past...
Comment icon #8 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 13 June, 2012, 14:51
You are essentially correct, although not because of the lack of stars. Wikipedia explains it better than me: Source:
Comment icon #9 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 13 June, 2012, 15:23
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 Right Wing, your information is about 9 years out of date and was never actually true anyway.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 amount. It just so happened that the upper end of the estimate for the age of some stars was greater than the lower estimate for the age of the universe. Certain groups jumped on this and misrepresented it as a basic flaw in the big bang theory. This was never the case. As more accu... [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.... [/left]
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
Probably but it may have split or merged with another galaxy, many of the original stars would have died, new ones formed (see )
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 :P ( [More]
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
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. Sometimes the evidence is incomplete or in error and that can lead to a wrong verdict. Usually not it does not. Becau... [More]

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