Astronomers at Arizona State University have located a remote and faint galaxy, which is one of the ten most distant known objects in the space.
The team used the IMACS instrument on the Magellan Telescopes in Chile and identified the galaxy ‘LAEJ095950.99+021219.1’ that is about 13 billion light-years away from the Earth.
“This galaxy is being observed at a young age. We are seeing it as it was in the very distant past, when the universe was a mere 800 million years old,” said James Rhoads.
He added that, “This image is like a baby picture of this galaxy, taken when the universe was only 5 percent of its current age. Studying these very early galaxies is important because it helps us understand how galaxies form and grow.”
According to the report published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, the located galaxy is extremely faint and the astronomers had to use a special filter fitted to the telescope camera to catch the light of narrow wavelength ranges.
“We have been using this technique since 1998 and pushing it to ever-greater distances and sensitivities in our search for the first galaxies at the edge of the universe,” explained Sangeeta Malhotra.
“Young galaxies must be observed at infrared wavelengths and this is not easy to do using ground-based telescopes, since the Earth’s atmosphere itself glows and large detectors are hard to make,” she added.
Malhotra further noted that, “With this search, we’ve not only found one of the furthest galaxies known, but also the faintest confirmed at that distance. Up to now, the redshift 7 galaxies we know about are literally the top one percent of galaxies. What we’re doing here is to start examining some of the fainter ones — thing that may better represent the other 99 percent.”
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