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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

A Star System 12.9 Billion Light Years Away is the New Most Distant Galaxy

• Clay Dillow via

The telescopes get bigger and more sophisticated, the light we can see comes in from deeper in the cosmos, and the most-distant visible objects keep getting further away. Last October astronomers using Hubble Space Telescope data reported sighting a possible galaxy some 13.2 billion light years away. That sighting is still awaiting confirmation as a galaxy, and in the meantime it has some competition in a galaxy discovered by scientists at the Subaru and Keck Telescopes that has, for the time being, seized the title of most distant known galaxy.

At some 12.91 billion light-years out, galaxy SXDF-NB1006-2 could at some point be eclipsed by the Hubble finding. But for now it edges out galaxy GN-108036 for the title, a faraway star system also discovered by the Subaru telescope that is ever-so-slightly closer to Earth.

To capture the image of such a distant object, the telescopes had to gather light for 37 hours, allowing it to accumulate on the telescopic sensors. Astronomers then had to strip out two potential galaxies from nearly 59,000 other objects to zero in on their most distant galaxy candidate. Additional observations with spectroscopic instruments confirmed that SXDF-NB1006-2 is indeed the most distant galactic body on the books.


1 Comments in Response to

Comment by James Eldridge
Entered on:

And this is just focusing the telescope on one certain area. I understand that if you were to focus the telescope in between stars that you start seeing other stars further into the darkness and new solar systems. Can you now think about what it would be like to look between the billions of stars we can see ourselves. I doubt that there could be a number that a human mind could grasp.

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