Thursday, October 24, 2013

Astronomers sift far distant galaxy - Spiegel Online

astronomers have discovered the most distant galaxy so far. The star system has such a great distance from the earth, that its light 13.1 billion years was way to us. So began his journey just 700 million years after the Big Bang. Thus enabling the galaxy with the bulky name “z8_GND_5296″ a look back to the infancy of the universe. Further away is just a verified celestial object: A very massive star that exploded only about 600 million years after the Big Bang, a gamma-ray burst was


in the journal “Nature” reported the international team headed by Steven Finkelstein of the University of Texas, Austin, as it was able to locate the galaxy. Using a spectrometer (“Mosfire”) at the Keck Observatory in Hawaii, astronomers checked 43 candidates for distant galaxies that had tracked the “Hubble” space telescope. From this they could only confirm a “z8_GND_5296″


“Mosfire” (Multi-Object Spectrometer for Infra-Red Exploration “), measures the radiation in the infrared, checked the 43 galaxy candidates in only two nights. The emitted light from distant galaxies is shifted in wavelength.’s why the most prominent feature of a star system, known as the Lyman-alpha line of hydrogen lamps, measured at very large distances in the infrared.

for larger view

V. Tilvi / S.L. Finkelstein / C. Papovich / NASA / ESA / A. Aloisi / The Hubble Heritage / HST / STScI / AURA

Galaxy “z8_GND_5296″ (illustration): Star production at a rapid pace

That researchers have discovered a corresponding infrared signal only one of the candidates does not mean that all the other 42 were false alarms. It could be, for example, that greater amounts of neutral hydrogen gas, the characteristic radiation have swallowed, the researchers speculate.

According to the researchers, the Galaxy star produced at an astonishing rate – the annual production is about 330 solar masses. In comparison, the Milky Way is bringing the newly formed stars in a year together on the only two to three times the mass of the Sun


This is similar to the newly discovered galaxy the previous distance record holder, is in the same region of the sky. Even those galaxy produces new stars at a rapid pace. “From this we learn something about the young universe,” says Finkelstein. “There were a lot more regions with high star formation rate than previously thought. If we can find two of them in the same section of the sky, there must be a whole lot of it.”


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