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Astronomers Discover Distant Galaxy using Hubble and Spitzer Telescope with Gravitational Lensing Effect

Astronomers have used the combined capabilities of NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes along with a cosmic magnification impact to discover the most distant galaxy ever observed. The orbiting observatories captured light from the young galaxies when the 13.7 billion-year-old universe was only 500 million years.

A principal research scientist in the physics and astronomy department at John Hopkins University and author of a paper in Nature, Wei Zheng stated that this galaxy is the most distant object that has been observed with this level of confidence. Future work in relation with this galaxy will help understand the earliest objects of the universe and how the dark ages ended.

Before the light from the primordial galaxy reached NASA’s telescopes, it travelled 13.2 billion light-years. When the universe was only 3.6% of its present age, the starlight observed by Hubble and Spitzer left the galaxy. In technical terms, the galaxy has a z or redshift of 9.6. Redshift is the amount which an object’s light shifts to longer wavelengths due to universe expansion.

The Hubble Space Telescope, as part of the Cluster Lensing And Supernova Survey registered the far-flung, recently described, in four infrared and visible wavelength bands. Spitzer measured the same in a longer, fifth wavelength infrared band establishing the discovery further. The largest telescopes of today cannot actually see objects at such extreme distances. Hence astronomers use gravitational lensing, which is a phenomenon that magnifies and warps the light from background objects. A huge galaxy cluster present between our galaxy and the newly discovered galaxy magnified the light of the newly discovered galaxy making it 15 times brighter.

Astronomers are planning to continue studying new galaxies and stars using NASA’s James Webb Telescope that will be launched in 2018.

Source: http://www.nasa.gov

Will Soutter

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Will Soutter

Will has a B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Durham, and a M.Sc. in Green Chemistry from the University of York. Naturally, Will is our resident Chemistry expert but, a love of science and the internet makes Will the all-rounder of the team. In his spare time Will likes to play the drums, cook and brew cider.

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