According to a recent study, astronomers have identified a new galaxy located 13.1 billion light years away from the Earth. This makes it the most distant galaxy known to date.
It was discovered by scientists from the University of California-Santa Cruz and Yale. Their findings are truly remarkable because they considerably widen our horizons of the Universe.
The name that this new galaxy has received is EGS-zs8-1. What makes it special is the fact that it is one of the brightest galaxies in Universe. Also, the color that we see in pictures of it is a marvelous shade of blue.The astronomers have used a measuring device called MOSFIRE, installed on a 10 -meter telescope at WM Keck Observatory located in Hawaii. Such a powerful telescope manages to reach tremendously far, so that it alters the time dimension.
In order to comprehend the exact distance from Earth to EGS-zs8-1, you should be reminded that a light year is 5.8 trillion miles. And when multiplied by 13.1 billion, it leads to a gigantic distance that is almost impossible for us to fathom.
Actually, the astronomers who have made the discovery said that there is a difference of only 30 million years between EGS-zs8-1 and the galaxy that previously held the record. They regard this as being a small difference, but one that was hard to achieve. Therefore it represents an outstanding progress.
Another amazing fact about the newly identified galaxy is that it is able to produce stars at a much higher rate than ours. “It has already built more than 15 per cent of the mass of our own Milky Way today,”, said co-author of the study, Yale astronomer Pascal Oesch.
The study also revealed that EGS-zs8-1 was created at the dawn of the Universe, when it was a mere 5% of the age that it has reached today. This pin points it at the time when the hydrogen existing between galaxies changed to a ionised state, which was a very important factor that contributed to the evolution undergone in the Universe.
Co-author of the study, Leiden Observatory’s Rychard Bouwens explained that a young star such as EGS-zs8-1 was a main driver in this transition, called reionisation, that forever changed the face of the Universe.
Now that astronomers have identified this amazing blue galaxy as being the most distant galaxy from the Earth, the map of the known Universe has been extensively broadened.
Image Source: scinews