Astronomers have found the farthest known galaxy to date. According to their calculations, EGS-zs8-1 is the remotest galaxy yet discovered since it is located more than 13 billion light-years from our planet.
Space telescopes were able to detect EGS-zs8-1 because of its brightness. Astronomers believe that there may be other galaxies that are even farther away from our planet but their light is too dim to be detected.
“We have a lot of sources that we can see with Hubble that are probably farther way. But we cannot measure their exact distance yet,”
said Pascal Oesch, lead author of the discovery and astrophysics researcher at Yale University’ Department of Physics.
Astronomers explained that they were able to calculate the distance between Earth and the remote galaxy by looking at how fast the galaxy gets farther from us. They argue that because the universe is in constant expansion, space objects move away from one another.
But as objects distance themselves from Earth their light spectrum shifts. Astronomers found that the farther a moving cosmic object is the reddish in color it appears to be. By measuring the intensity of the redshift, astronomers were able to approximate the distance of galaxy EGS-zs8-1. The research team noted that the newly found galaxy has the highest redshift ever calculated.
EGS-zs8-1 was first detected by ESA/NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. But the authors of the recent study backed that data with fresh imagery taken by W.M. Keck Observatory’s 33-foot-high ground telescope in Hawaii.
The impressive distance that EGS’ light had to travel to reach our instruments also suggests that the galaxy is also one of the oldest galaxies in the universe. So, the stars in it are also among the oldest stars out there.
Nevertheless, scientists cannot yet compare EGS-zs8-1 with galaxies of similar age but they do know it is the one of the oldest galaxies ever detected with a man-made instrument. The recent research also suggests that EGS-zs8-1 is a prolific star factor since it generates new stars 80 times faster than our galaxy does.
Researchers are now interested in what types of heavy elements EGS contains because they may be important clues to how exactly stars really formed in the Universe’s early days.
Oesch also said that the newly found galaxy may help researchers understand how stars appeared in those remote locations of space and how exactly they are different from the stars we observe in the local universe.
Image Source: Wikipedia
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