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Hubble Telescope Breaks Cosmic Distance Record, Observes Oldest Galaxy Ever

 

The Hubble Space Telescope has just broken the cosmic distance record and spotted the oldest galaxy ever found–and thus, the farthest galaxy ever observed: GN-z11. Pascal Oesch, of Yale University, is the principal investigator on the project, explained the discovery, saying “We’ve taken a major step back in time, beyond what we’d ever expected to be able to do with Hubble. We see GN-z11 at a time when the universe was only three percent of its current age.”

Basically it works like this: because the universe is expanding, distant objects look like they’re moving farther away from Earth. As NASA described in their press release: “Every distant object in the universe appears to be receding from us because its light is stretched to longer, redder wavelengths as it travels through expanding space to reach our telescopes. The greater the redshift, the farther the galaxy.”

It’s interesting to think that even now, the Hubble is still finding ways to surprise and impress scientists here on Earth. With the impending 2018 launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, it seemed that the days of brand new Hubble Telescope distance observation records were over. That’s obviously not true, and there’s still plenty of surprises left in the Hubble.

(via Huffington Post)

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Jessica Lachenal is a writer who doesn’t talk about herself a lot, so she isn’t quite sure how biographical info panels should work. But here we go anyway. She's the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, a Contributing Writer for The Bold Italic (thebolditalic.com), and a Staff Writer for Spinning Platters (spinningplatters.com). She's also been featured in Model View Culture and Frontiers LA magazine, and on Autostraddle. She hopes this has been as awkward for you as it has been for her.