Oldest Galaxy EGS8p7

The farthest known galaxy discovered by researchers, is 13.2 billion years old.   Image credit Caltech

A team of scientists at California Institute of Technology (Caltech), has detected a galaxy, named EGS8p7, more than 13.2 billion years old, the most distant galaxy ever found. The universe is about 13.8 billion years old.

Using the multi-object spectrometer for infrared exploration (MOSFIRE) at the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii, the researchers performed a spectrographic analysis of the galaxy to determine its redshift. Redshift results from the Doppler effect, the same phenomenon that causes the siren on a fire truck to drop in pitch as the truck passes. With celestial objects, however, it is light that is being “stretched” rather than sound; instead of an audible drop in tone, there is a shift from the actual color to redder wavelengths.

Adi Zitrin, a NASA Hubble Postdoctoral Scholar in Astronomy, said:

“If you look at the galaxies in the early universe, there is a lot of neutral hydrogen that is not transparent to this emission. We expect that most of the radiation from this galaxy would be absorbed by the hydrogen in the intervening space. Yet still we see Lyman-alpha from this galaxy.”

source California Institute of Technology