PARIS, Oct. 20 (UPI) — French scientists say they’ve confirmed the most distant astronomical object known, a galaxy 13.071 billion light years away.
The galaxy, dubbed UDFy-38135539, is so far away the light just now reaching Earth left it less than 600 million years after the Big Bang, ScienceNews.org reported.
Scientists at the Observatory of Paris studied images captured by the Hubble telescope to measure the galaxy’s redshift — the extent to which light emitted by a body is shifted to longer, or redder, wavelengths by the expansion of the universe — to determine its distance.
The more distant a body, the greater its redshift.
They measured the redshift of UDFy-38135539 at 8.56, showing it to be about 35 million light-years farther away than the previous distance holder, a powerful cosmic explosion known as a gamma-ray burst.
Observing the light from galaxies as far away as UDFy-38135539 and even much fainter galaxies will become easier with the 2014 launch of the infrared James Webb Space Telescope, Avi Loeb of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., said.
The Hubble telescope has already found other galaxies that may lie farther away than UDFy-38135539, but scientists will need the new infrared telescope to measure the distances.
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