Skip to comments.Astronomers Discover Oldest Ever Galaxy
Posted on 01/26/2011 4:56:17 PM PST by Red Badger
Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have peered further back in time than ever before, spotting a galaxy that formed less than 500 million years after the birth of our universe, making it the oldest and most distant ever seen. The find, reported today (Jan. 26) in the journal Nature, should help astronomers better understand the early days of the universe, researchers said. In particular, the discovery should shed light on the evolution of early galaxies, which first formed just a few hundred million years after the Big Bang."In essence, the most important aspect of this is, it provides us with some sense of how fast galaxies are building up," lead author Rychard Bouwens, of the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) and Leiden University in The Netherlands, told SPACE.com. "It provides a sort of measuring stick." Peering backward through time Bouwens and his colleagues analyzed observations made by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.
They looked at infrared data gathered by Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3, which was installed on the telescope in 2009. [Most Amazing Hubble Discoveries] The researchers found evidence of a galaxy with a redshift of 10.3. "Redshift" is a measure of how much the expansion of space has stretched an object's light to longer (or redder) wavelengths. Light from objects moving away from us shifts to the red end of the spectrum as its wavelengths are stretched. The shift, known as the Doppler phenomenon, is experienced on Earth when sound waves from an ambulance change pitch when the ambulance moves toward you versus away from you. Astronomers use redshift measurements to determine an object's distance, and by extension its age. The bigger the redshift, the greater the distance. A redshift of 10.3 corresponds to a distance of about 13.2 billion light-years. That is, it's taken 13.2 billion years for the light from the newly discovered galaxy - which has been named UDFj-39546284 - to reach us.
Perhaps it should be called the HELEN THOMAS GALAXY....
It would be interesting to see what it looks like now.
“about 13.2 billion light-years”
No wonder our social security /social safety net is going kaput
Could they see their calendar??
Hang around for another 13.2 billion years and you will see.
We don't know that this galaxy still exists.
To have an idea of just how much 13.2 billion light years means, I read once that our sun, at 93 million miles is about 8 light minutes away. I hope I'm remembering correctly, if not consider the fact that I'm very old.
My guess is a 63 or 64?
“...beating out the old record-holder by about 100 million light-years.”
Eh. A cosmological photo finish.
A hundred million here, a hundred million there, pretty soon you’re talking about real time.....
“Space,” it says, “is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space, listen...”
— Hitchhiker’s Guide
Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have peered further back in time than ever before, spotting a galaxy that formed...after the birth of our universe, making it the oldest and most distant ever seen.
does that make sense???
galaxy fromed after the birth of our universe, making it the oldest ever seen...
if it was formed after our universe, wouldn’t that make it younger...wouldn’t that make our universe older?
what am i missing here?
For example, one light year, the *distance* light travels in a year at its constant speed of 186,000 miles per second, works out to about 6 TRILLION miles. And there are galaxies BILLIONS of light years away. This one supposedly is at 13.2 billion light years.
Your older brother was born a year after your parent’s marriage. You came along later. He’s still older than you...
Yes. The universe is thought to be about 14.7 billion years old. This galaxy, they say, formed about .5 billion years after the beginning of the universe.
Make that ‘the universe is thought to be about 13.7 billion years old’
M-51 is about 37 million light years from earth.
M51 Whirlpool Galaxy is located in the Constellation Canes Venatici. Its companion galaxy, seen above the main spiral galaxy is NGC 5195, which is a spectacular example of interacting galaxies.
In this case NGC 5195 is being "ripped apart" by the huge gravitational disturbance of M51.
The distance of M51 is estimated to be about 37 million light years. The diameter is about 100,000 light years and the total mass is estimated to be the equivalent of 160 billion suns. The diameter is similar to our own Milky Way Galaxy.
I find galaxies to be fascinating.
Canon 40D/10"SMT/ Series of 35x120 second raw format exposures W/8 darks, @ISO 800/--A 6.3Focal reducer was used in the optical train with CLS-LP filters/calibrated, aligned and stacked w/DSS.
Bringing out the data in this image was not easy and I experienced some issues during processing.
Wow.. I can’t wait til next year when they see an even older one! And the year after that, and the year after that! Before long, they’ll spot one that was there before the birth of our universe.
Nice! I can barely see M51 from my backyard. The only time I’ve ever had a dark sky here was when the Northridge quake knocked out all the power in the L.A. area.
Thanks! Amazing image.
Check out this incredible super-enlarged high-res image of the M51 ‘Whirlpool’ Galaxy:
When that was taken, it was 100 percent invisible to the unaided eye...Atmospheric conditions were not that good either, with upper level disturbances etc...Thanks.
Warning, warning!!! That high-res
image I linked to is a whopping 71MB!!!
Thanks for the warning...I don’t think I’ll click on it...
BTW, I loved that show when I was a kid.
So did I. I thought the interchanges between Smitty and the Robot were hilarious.
I just learned recently that there’s a bench in Central Park here in NYC dedicated to Guy Williams, the actor that played John Robinson (no relation to you-know-who). :) The bench is near the statue of Columbus.
If you’d like to reminisce, you can watch the series online for free here:
Reminds me of the conclusion at the end of this short video:
Size Of The Universe
Very interesting read about Guy....I’d almost forgot about him.
It’s really so very, very big.
Zaphod Beeblebrox, titular President of the Universe, was once punished by being put into the Infinite Field Vortex which is a machine that exposes you to the whole totality of the universe. The whole bigness. The entire infinity of galaxy after galaxy, trillions of worlds, unspeakable voids of billions of light-years of emptyness... the Whole Thing. Then... on a tiny microdot, on a microdot, on a microdot... way down into the infinite smallness of nothingness, is a little yellow arrow with a sign on it saying... “you are here.”
It normally reduces any thinking person to a shapeless mass of quivering flesh. Zaphod, however, has an ego so profound that it was able to expand to fill the entirety of the universe. When they opened the chamber back up he walked out, ran his fingers through his hair and said “Wow, big place.”
Are you quoting someone or something?
It’s not a quote. It’s a summary in my own words of the IFV sequence in Hitchhiker’s guide...
FYI, Yesterday's APOD was M1 in infrared -- and you can mouseover to see it in visible light. Toggling between vis & IR is fascinating...
I have had a theory, for quite some time now, that if you see a far distant object, in this case, a galaxy, you should be able to turn your telescope around, 180° and see that same object from the back side.................
Thanks...Galaxies are really tough to shoot as most of them are extreme low light objects and tracking must be near perfect.
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