Apr 7, 2022

Astronomers have found what may be the most distant galaxy ever seen

Posted by in category: cosmology

A galaxy called HD1 may be the most distant object astronomers have ever spotted. Its astonishing brightness is difficult to explain and may be due to an enormous black hole at its centre or the creation of extremely massive primordial stars, both of which confound our understanding of the early universe.

Fabio Pacucci at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Massachusetts and his colleagues found HD1 by sifting through large public data sets from several of the most powerful telescopes available. They then observed it again with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile.

Those observations showed that HD1 is about 33.4 billion light years away, more than a billion light years further than the previous most distant object ever spotted, a galaxy called GN-z11. Such a distance is possible, despite the age of the universe being only about 13.8 billion years, because of the accelerating expansion of the cosmos.

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