The Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes have allowed astronomers to spot the most distance galaxy discovered to date.
The research group responsible for finding this galaxy includes stargazers representing the University of California and Yale University. The group has succeeded in aging this ancient galaxy accurately; the galaxy was formed at a time when the Universe was just 5% of what it’s now. Here, it must be mentioned that the Universe is a 13.8 billion-year-old structure.
The majority of the galaxies that existed during the early phase of the Universe don’t have accurate distances; this is primarily because it’s extremely tough to observe those galaxies from such a faraway place.
This newly spotted galaxy has been named EGS-zs8-1. Astronomers are saying that the only factor that allowed Spitzer and Hubble to spot this distant galaxy is its brightness. The EGS-zs8-1 is one of the brightest entities the early Universe had.
Pascal Oesch of Yale University, who is also the study’s lead author, said that at this moment the galaxy’s mass is around 15% of what the mass of our home galaxy Milky Way is. Oesch added that the EGS-zs8-1 gained so much mass in just 670 million years; it was a time when the Universe was quite young.
When the stargazers observed the galaxy during this recent study, the EGS-zs8-1 was still forming stars at a great pace. The star forming speed of this new galaxy is 80 times higher than that of the Milky Way. The Milky Way adds just a single star every year.
It’s true that the EGS-zs8-1 is a bright and colorful entity due to the stars it possesses and those are the main factors that allowed the stargazers to locate it so easily using the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes. However, still astronomers trying to spot the galaxy had to use the relatively new MOSFIRE (Multi-Object Spectrometer for Infra-Red Exploration), a tool on the Keck 1 telescope, for measuring the distance between our planet and the EGS-zs8-1 accurately.
The study’s second author Pieter van Dokkum, who is also representing Yale, said that with every confirmation a fresh layer is being added to the old puzzle regarding the process of galaxy formation during the early years of the universe.