Most-Distant Galaxy Found—and Yes, It’s Far, Far Away
To judge from the headlines, astronomy is nothing more than an ongoing quest to set a Guinness World Record. It’s always seems to be about the tiniest galaxy, or the most Earthlike planet, or the biggest star or the hottest or coldest or weirdest cosmic whatever. And at first glance, the discovery described in the current Nature just continues the gee-whiz trend. Observers using both the Hubble and the Keck telescopes have been conducting a deep field survey of 43 galaxies believed to be extremely distant and have identified a true gem among them: an object whose light has been en route to Earth for more than 13 billion years—and that makes it the most distant galaxy ever found.
But distance alone isn’t what makes this galaxy, known as z8_GND_5296, so important. It’s the fact that astronomers can see it at all, that they’re peering deep into the…
View original post 818 more words